Transactions

August 2007
San Francisco, California
has been acquired by
London, England


Background

After attending a seminar on earnings estimates, StarMine’s founder Joe Gatto wrote a business plan for a better system to measure these estimates – as well as the performance of Wall Street analysts.  His “SmartEstimate” system was more objective – and more accurate than the then most popular sources of such measurement I/B/E/S and FirstCall.  Three years later, Gatto received an initial round of financing from American Century Ventures followed shortly thereafter by a second round that included American Century, Hummer Winblad Venture Partners and Instinet Group Inc.

Seven years after receiving its initial funding, Gatto’s company, StarMine Corporation, had become a leading provider of fundamental research systems and automated analyses to investment managers.  The Company had developed a full suite of products to accurately predict earnings surprises and value stocks on a relative or absolute basis as well as to objectively measure the performance of Wall Street analysts.  The Company was profitable and growing 40% per year.  They had clients in the US, UK, Europe, Australia and South Africa and the Company was developing an international physical presence.

While Joe Gatto and his board were certain that the Company could continue to grow revenue at significant rates and remain highly profitable without a partner, they also were ready for some liquidity and were aware that the Company had reached a stage where growth required increased administration and international infrastructure.  Based on the Company’s very high predicted growth, Gatto and the Company’s financial sponsors decided that the next phase of the Company’s growth would be facilitated if the Company were teamed with the right strategic partner.  To help them find that right partner and negotiate an acceptable transaction, they turned to Marlin & Associates.



M&A helped StarMine conduct a disciplined process that led to discussions with more than 10 potential partners and ultimately generated strong interest from four: one of which was Thomson Corporation’s Thomson Financial unit and another one of which was Reuters, the global information company. Reuters soon became the preferred buyer.  However, on May 14th 2007, Thomson Corporation announced that it was in negotiations to acquire Reuters.  While Thomson and Reuters immediately put on hold most other discussions pertaining to acquisitions, both Reuters and StarMine saw their transaction to be strategic enough to continue active conversations, albeit with some complications.  On August 21st 2007, ten months after engaging M&A, the two parties agreed to enter into a transaction whereby Reuters would acquire StarMine, subject to some conditions relating to the pending Thomson transaction.  The transaction closed on January 1st 2008, shortly before Thomson closed on its acquisition of Reuters.

This acquisition has allowed Thomson Reuters to provide a new level of high-value content and insight to its customers around the globe. Joe Gatto and his team continue in place with expanded responsibilities, while StarMine’s financial backers have exited with a significant return on their investment.

Marlin & Associates New York LLC initiated this transaction, managed the process, assisted in the negotiations and acted as the exclusive strategic and financial advisor to StarMine Corporation.

Reuters To Acquire Analytics Company StarMine

August 21, 2007

New York, NY (August 21st, 2007) Reuters (LSE: RTR; NASDAQ: RTRSY), the global information company, has entered into an agreement to acquire San Francisco–based StarMine, a privately held provider of analytics and equity research tools and objective performance ratings to securities analysts.

Reuters plans to retain and continue to work with the existing StarMine management team and their highly skilled workforce. Reuters also plans to continue to support existing StarMine customers and to continue to invest in StarMine’s leading decision–support analytic capabilities.

Michael Peace, Reuters Global Head of Research and Asset Management, said: "This deal delivers on our strategy of providing high–value content and insight to Reuters customers around the world. StarMine brings a unique set of tools, skills and capabilities that complement our existing, highly–regarded research and asset management product portfolio. In particular, StarMine’s advanced analytics will provide an exciting new level of functionality to our Reuters Knowledge offering. We also believe that StarMine will be a strong complement to Thomson’s offerings following completion of our pending combination.

"This acquisition highlights Reuters ongoing commitment to investing in high–value, cutting–edge products and services, ensuring that we continue to help the investment management and research community make better investment decisions."

Joe Gatto, StarMine Chief Executive, said:
"StarMine excels at helping clients extract more value from financial information in less time. Joining forces with Reuters will allow StarMine to deliver value over much broader sets of financial information than it does today. Together we’ll be able to meet the needs of more customers globally. We are a natural fit and will be a powerful combination."

The transaction is subject to customary terms and conditions. Financial terms of the all cash transaction were not disclosed.

About Reuters:

Reuters (www.reuters.com), the global information company, provides indispensable information tailored for professionals in the financial services, media and corporate markets. Through reuters.com and other digital properties, Reuters now also supplies its trusted content direct to individuals. Reuters drives decision making across the globe based on a reputation for speed, accuracy and independence. Reuters has 16,900 staff in 94 countries, including 2,400 editorial staff in 196 bureaux serving 131 countries. In 2006, Reuters revenues were £2.6 billion.

About StarMine

StarMine (www.starmine.com) provides independent, objective ratings of securities analysts around the globe by measuring their stock–picking performance and the accuracy of their earnings forecasts. StarMine helps professional investors extract more value from broker research and fundamental equity data in less time by identifying the analysts that add value, forecasting potential earnings surprises and shortfalls, evaluating earnings quality, and alerting investors to the most important developments on stocks they follow. A privately held company founded in 1998, StarMine is based in San Francisco with offices in New York, London, Paris, Boston, Chicago, Hong Kong, and Tokyo. StarMine had gross assets of $16.3 million as of June 30, 2007.

This press release may be deemed to include forward–looking statements relating to Reuters within the meaning of the United States Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Certain important factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those disclosed in such forward–looking statements are described in Reuters Annual Report and Form 20–F 2006 under the heading 'Risk Factors’ and Reuters Interim Results press release dated 27 July 2007 under the heading 'Forward–looking Statements’. Copies of the Annual Report and Form 20–F 2006 and Interim Results press release are available on request from Reuters Group PLC, South Colonnade, Canary Wharf, London E14 5EP. Any forward–looking statements made by or on behalf of Reuters speak only as of the date they are made, and Reuters does not undertake to update any forward–looking statements.

About Marlin & Associates

Founded in 2002, Marlin & Associates New York LLC is a boutique investment banking and strategic consulting firm focused on providing highly strategic and specialized, transaction–related services to U.S. and international middle market firms engage in technology, information, on–line media and business services. The firm is based in New York City with a Washington, DC office and has been the recipient of numerous awards.

Our professionals have advised on over 200 successfully completed transactions in the technology and information services sector. Recent Marlin & Associates transactions include:

  • StarMine Corporation of San Francisco, which Marlin & Associates advised on its sale to Reuters Group PLC (LSE: RTR). M&A initiated the transaction, helped to manage the process, assisted in the negotiations and acted as exclusive strategic and financial advisor to StarMine.
  • Applied Financial Technology of San Francisco, which Marlin & Associates advised on its sale to Fidelity National Information Services (NYSE: FIS). M&A initiated the transaction, helped to manage the process, assisted in the negotiations and acted as strategic and financial advisor to AFT.
  • Global Energy Decisions of Boulder, Colorado, which recently was acquired by Ventyx, Inc., an affiliate of Vista Equity Partners of San Francisco. Vista is a leading private equity firm focused on investing in software and technology–enabled services. Marlin & Associates identified Global Energy as a potential opportunity, helped Vista conduct a thorough review of Global Energy’s business and financial results and worked with Vista to assess Global Energy’s strategic fit within Vista’s portfolio.
  • Xcitek LLC market data of New York, which Marlin & Associates advised on its sale to Interactive Data Corporation (NYSE: IDC). M&A initiated the transaction, helped to manage the process, assisted in the negotiations and acted as exclusive strategic and financial advisor to Xcitek.
  • Hugin ASA of Oslo, Norway, which Marlin & Associates advised on its sale to Euronext N.V. of Amsterdam, Netherlands (ENXTPA: NXT). M&A initiated the transaction, helped to manage the process, assisted in the negotiations and acted as exclusive strategic and financial advisor to Hugin.
  • Triple Point Technology of Westport, Connecticut, which Marlin & Associates advised on its sale of a majority interest to ABRY Partners, one of the most experienced and successful private equity firms in North America. M&A initiated the transaction, helped to manage the process, assisted in the negotiations and acted as exclusive strategic and financial advisor to Triple Point Technology.
  • Brainpower N.V. of Lugano, Switzerland, which Marlin & Associates advised on its sale to Bloomberg L.P. M&A initiated the transaction, helped to manage the process, assisted in the negotiations and acted as exclusive strategic and financial advisor to Brainpower.
  • Cameron Systems (Vic) of Sydney, Australia, which Marlin & Associates advised on its sale to Orc Software of Stockholm, Sweden (STKM: ORC). M&A initiated the transaction, helped to manage the process, assisted in the negotiations and acted as exclusive strategic and financial advisor to Cameron.
  • Derivative Solutions of Chicago, which Marlin & Associates advised on its sale to FactSet Research Systems (NYSE: FDS). M&A initiated the transaction, helped to manage the process, assisted in the negotiations and acted as exclusive strategic and financial advisor to Derivative Solutions.
  • Beauchamp Financial Technology Ltd. of London, England, which Marlin & Associates advised on its sale to Linedata Services of Paris, France (PARIS: LIN). M&A initiated the transaction, helped to manage the process, assisted in the negotiations and acted as exclusive strategic and financial advisor to BFT.
  • Global Securities Information, Inc. of Washington, D.C., which Marlin & Associates advised on its sale to Thomson Corporation (NYSE: TOC). M&A initiated the transaction, helped to manage the process, assisted in the negotiations and acted as exclusive strategic and financial advisor to GSI.

In 2007, Marlin & Associates was recognized by The M&A Advisor for excellence in four categories:

  • Middle Market Financing Deal of the Year
  • Middle Market Financing Agent of the Year – Equity
  • Financial Services Deal of the Year
  • Computer, Technology and Telecommunications Deal of the Year

In 2006, Marlin & Associates was recognized for leading the "Financial Technology Deal of the Year." Marlin received the award for its role as the exclusive strategic and financial advisor to Brainpower N.V., in its sale to Bloomberg L.P. Marlin & Associates also was nominated (and a finalist) for awards in three different categories.

The M&A Advisor award winners are chosen based on the importance of the transaction, unique deal characteristics, transaction difficulty and overall impact on the industry.

CONTACT:

Michael Maxworthy | (646) 495–5141 | Contact@MarlinLLC.com | www.MarlinLLC.com

Back to Top