IPD sale to MSCI 'necessary for expansion', clients told

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  • IPD sale to MSCI 'necessary for expansion', clients told

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GLOBAL – Index provider MSCI is set to acquire Investment Property Databank (IPD) at the end of November for £78m (€97.2m), having signed a definitive agreement.

IPD said the deal would help it pursue its ambitions to cover real estate markets on a global basis and has sought to reassure clients that it will be "business-as-usual" following the acquisition.

Christina Cudworth, group marketing director at IPD, said MSCI would "absolutely help" in "globalising IPD's services", citing its presence in numerous countries.

Cudworth pointed to the US and Asia as regions where MSCI's "global footprint" would prove particularly useful.

"They've already got reach in that area," she said.

In a letter to clients, IPD said: "We have always greatly valued our independence, but, for IPD to thrive and reach its potential, we chose to find an organisation that has greater reach and more capital than we currently have available."

It added: "MSCI is determined to continue the IPD mission to produce greater transparency and better analysis for real estate. As our businesses integrate, we can assure you it will appear business-as-usual."

MSCI currently offers indices and investment tools for listed equity, fixed income, hedge fund, energy and commodities markets.

Henry Fernandez, chairman and chief executive at MSCI, said: "We've seen significant demand from institutional investors globally for better coverage of private markets.

"The real estate investment market presents considerable opportunities for growth, and we look forward to helping to accelerate the institutionalisation and globalisation of real estate as an asset class."

MSCI will acquire 100% of IPD with cash.

Previously, IPD was 52%-owned by IPD staff, including founders Rupert Nabarro and Ian Cullen, with the rest owned by a number of real estate managers and agents (45%) and non-IPD individuals (3%).

The ownership was changed following a shareholder meeting to enable a full buyout by a third-party.

IPD generated revenue of £29.7m and an operating profit of £2.8m in 2011, and revenue of £16.7m in the first six months of 2012.

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