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Morningstar to acquire rating agency DBRS for $669M

Morningstar Inc., a provider of independent investment research, agreed to acquire credit ratings agency DBRS Ltd. for a purchase price of $669 million.

Morningstar Credit Ratings' U.S. business, together with DBRS, is expected to provide investors with fixed-income analysis and research as well as expanded global asset class coverage. Morningstar will name a leader for the combined businesses before the completion of the deal, which is expected in the third quarter.

Morningstar plans to fund the deal with a mix of cash and debt, which will include the placement of a new credit facility at closing.

Following the acquisition, the current management team of DBRS will be retained.

Carlyle Group LP and Warburg Pincus LLC led DBRS' acquisition in 2015. The rating agency reported revenues of $167 million for the fiscal year ended Nov. 30, 2018.

Lazard Frères & Co. LLC served as exclusive financial adviser to DBRS, and Wachtell Lipton Rosen & Katz served as its legal counsel. Winston & Strawn LLP served as legal counsel to Morningstar in connection with the deal.