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Deutsche Börse seals 81% majority takeover of ISS

Source: Deutsche Borse

Deutsche Börse AG has successfully completed the acquisition of an 81% majority stake in the governance, ESG data and analytics provider Institutional Shareholder Services Inc. (ISS), following receipt of all necessary regulatory approvals. The acquisition was announced in late 2020.

The highly complementary nature of the deal will enable Deutsche Börse and ISS to jointly serve the ever-growing demand for in-depth extra-financial data, research and analytics. Together, both partners will support market participants in making well-informed investment decisions with a particular view on sustainability criteria. Deutsche Börse thereby further commits to one of the key megatrends in the industry that will fundamentally change the investment business over the coming years.

Stephan Leithner, Member of the Executive Board of Deutsche Börse AG, responsible for the Group’s Pre- & Post-Trading businesses, said: “The quality, precision and breadth of ISS’ data and research is unique in the market. Especially the company’s ESG expertise and data capabilities are highly complementary to Deutsche Börse’s businesses along the entire value chain. This acquisition therefore is a logical step in our ESG growth strategy, adding an important piece to the puzzle to become one of the world's leading market infrastructure players on this critical development.”

Today, Deutsche Börse already offers ESG indices via its index and analytics provider Qontigo (with its brands STOXX, DAX, Axioma) and ESG derivatives via its derivatives exchange Eurex. In addition, Deutsche Börse recently took a minority stake in ESG analytics provider Clarity AI. The acquisition of ISS is a further demonstration of Deutsche Börse’s commitment to ESG.

“We are pleased to be joining the Deutsche Börse group of companies and look forward to working with our new colleagues in furtherance of our long-standing mission to empower investors and companies to build for long-term and sustainable growth,” said Gary Retelny, President and CEO of ISS. “ISS will continue to deliver the same independent and high-quality research, ratings, and other offerings our clients have come to expect, and we will continue to invest and innovate to ensure they receive next-generation solutions.”

ISS will continue to operate with the same editorial independence in its data and research organisation that is in place today. Deutsche Börse commits to principles of protecting the independence and integrity of ISS’ research, recommendations, ratings and other analytical offerings. To that end, a number of non-interference policies have been put in place. ISS has also established a policy that it will not provide proxy research or other analytical research on Deutsche Börse.

This transaction has been conducted in partnership with current ISS management and Genstar Capital, a leading growth equity investor, who will both continue to hold a stake in the company.

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