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Talking Reference Data with Andrew Delaney: Markit Eats Asset Control – Can It Be True?

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That Asset Control has been on the sales block for the better part of the 12 months isn’t a surprise to anyone. But that Markit, recent acquirer of EDM platform Cadis, would be the acquirer from current owner Fidelity Ventures? That’s something else.

To be fair, we’ve been hearing that Asset Control, an early innovator in the EDM space, had at last found a buyer for the past couple of weeks. Now, we hear – and have yet to confirm – Markit has emerged as the suitor. Can it be true?

Well, it could make sense.

Cadis made its name through offering a nimble data management solution for the buy side. Markit has significant penetration for its data services among the world’s major sell sides. Asset Control, with its strength on the sell side, could help connect the dots, allowing Markit data to flow between brokers and their clients, all under the auspices of Markit EDM.

The valuation we are hearing is just over one times revenue. Cadis did well with its price, which was north of $100 million, we believe. We’ll sit back and await the press release.

If we are right, the move would eliminate a key independent player in the enterprise data management space, leaving behind only Goldensource and a raft of smaller niche players including AIM Software, First Derivatives, Smartstream and others.

Who will be next to be gobbled up? And who would be the gobbler? Bloomberg already has PolarLake. Thomson Reuters wants out of that segment. That leaves the likes of Interactive Data and SIX Financial, each of which has its own approach to data integration in the enterprise space.

It all promises to make for good copy, that’s for sure.

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