Deutsche Börse, the German stock exchange group, has bought ISS, the US proxy voting and ESG data firm, in a move that underscores the regulatory charge of ESG on mainstream financial services in the EU.
The owner of the Frankfurt stock exchange has taken an 80% stake in ISS from Genstar Capital, its private equity owner, for circa $1.8bn, valuing the total company at $2.27bn.
Genstar and ISS’ current management will continue to hold approximately 20% of ISS, and CEO Gary Retelny will continue to lead the company.
San Francisco-based Genstar has made more than 2.5x on its investment in ISS in just over three years, a sign of the increasing value being attached to ESG assets.
It bought ISS, in partnership with management, in 2017 for $720m (€599.5m) from Vestar Capital, a New York-based private equity house.
Vestar had acquired the business for $364m in 2014 from MSCI, which had owned ISS since acquiring the RiskMetrics business for $1.55bn…