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Black Knight, Others Complete D&B Acquisition; Foley Ascends to Chairman

An investor group led by Black Knight Inc. and others has completed the acquisition of Dun & Bradstreet Inc., which had already been announced. The other lead investors include Cannae, CC Capital Partners, Bilcar, and funds affiliated with Thomas H. Lee Partners.

William P. Foley, was appointed executive chairman of the board for Dun & Bradstreet. Also, he will remain as chairman of the board of Cannae Holdings and Fidelity National Financial as well as executive chairman of the board of Black Knight. It provides integrated software, data and analytics solutions mortgage lenders and servicers.

Anthony Jabbour, chief executive officer at Black Knight, will serve as chief executive officer of Dun & Bradstreet, remaining in his current role at Black Knight.

Also, Stephen C. Daffron, a co-founder of Motive Partners and former president and chief executive officer of Interactive Data Corp., will serve as president of Dun & Bradstreet, which is now a private company and will no longer trade on the New York Stock Exchange.

“As a private company, Dun & Bradstreet is well positioned to reinvigorate growth and I look forward to partnering with Anthony, Stephen and the board in my new role,” said Foley. “Building on Dun & Bradstreet’s strong platform as a global leader in business insights, I look forward to improving growth and customers’ experience, while increasing operating efficiencies to deliver enhanced business solutions across the world.”

Black Knight invested most of the $375 million paid for the transaction to purchase the equity interests of another consortium member. Of that investment, $250 million was used to purchase the ownership interest of QIA FIG Holding, a Doha, Qatar-based financial company, according to a Form 8-K it filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

The remaining $125 million is an equity commitment to the consortium, Star Parent LP. The investment in Dun & Bradstreet would yield less than a 20-percent share in Dun & Bradstreet. As a result of the completion of the transaction, shares of Dun & Bradstreet stock ceased trading on the New York Stock Exchange.

Cannae has acquired over 100 companies worth more than $30 billion along with Fidelity National Financial and others over the past 20 years. CC Capital is a private investment firm founded in 2016, which invests in and operates high-quality companies.

William and Carol Foley own Bilcar, a partnership that invested in the D&B transaction. He and his team achieved $312 million in cost reductions from the Lender Processing Services acquisition, surpassing a $150 million target. Foley has achieved around 1.3 times synergies in more than eight large transactions. Also, under his stewardship, Fidelity National grew into one of the largest title-insurance companies in the U.S. Thomas H. Lee Partners L.P. is a private equity firm that invests in growth companies in the U.S.

 

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