BlackRock to Buy eFront for $1.3B

With the all-cash purchase of the Paris-based alternative investment software and solutions provider, the global asset manager will significantly enhance its technology platform.

BlackRock will expand its investment management technology offerings with the acquisition of Paris-based eFront, the top alternative investment management software and solutions provider in the world. The global asset manager will acquire eFront and its employees from Bridgepoint in a $1.3 billion cash transaction.  

“Technology and illiquid alternatives are two pillars of BlackRock’s growth, and this transaction provides a unique opportunity to accelerate our positioning in both,” Laurence Fink, chairman & CEO of BlackRock, said in a prepared statement.

eFront, established in 1999, serves clients in the private equity, banking insurance and real estate investment arenas. The company boasts more than $567 billion in real estate investments managed by clients around the world and spanning all real estate sectors. eFront’s real estate investor software, the eFront Solution Suite, allows real estate professionals to streamline and centralize their investment cycle across the board through a series of modular products. Currently, approximately 500 real estate funds contribute to eFront’s data intelligence database.

End game

BlackRock, through BlackRock Real Estate, has more than $21 billion in real estate assets under management. The company will combine eFront with Aladdin, its risk management technology platform, allowing clients an enterprise view of their portfolio.

“Offering eFront’s leading capabilities in alternatives to the Aladdin Community through BlackRock Solutions will allow our clients to access a ‘whole portfolio’ approach,” Rob Goldstein, chief operating officer of BlackRock,” said in prepared remarks.

BlackRock, which will soon maintain its headquarters in 850,000 square feet at New York City’s 50 Hudson Yards office skyscraper, plans to finance the acquisition of eFront through the use of existing corporate liquidity and debt. The next step of the transaction calls for the companies’ shareholders to enter into a definitive securities sale agreement.

eFront’s last change in ownership came in 2015, when Bridgepoint acquired the company for €300 million, or approximately $338 million in today’s dollars.