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MSCI to acquire GMI Ratings

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MSCI has agreed to acquire GMI Ratings, a provider of environmental, social and governance (ESG) ratings and research to institutional investors, through its subsidiary MSCI ESG Research.

The transaction is expected to close in the third quarter, subject to customary closing conditions.
 
“The acquisition of GMI enhances MSCI’s position as a leader in ESG research,” says Remy Briand, managing director and head of ESG Research.  “The addition of GMI’s corporate governance research and ratings will enable MSCI to offer its clients a depth and quality of coverage across all three pillars of ESG research that will be unmatched in the marketplace. These tools are growing in importance as investors seek to understand more fully the risks in their portfolios.”
 
John Higgins, chairman of GMI Ratings, says: “GMI has long been a believer in the importance of incorporating ESG factors into the investment process. We believe that becoming part of MSCI, with its global footprint and resources, will significantly enhance our ability to do just that. MSCI's ESG research and its strength in benchmarking make it a natural fit for GMI, and we are very excited about the benefits this transaction will bring to our clients.”  
 
The total consideration for GMI Ratings is USD15 million in cash, subject to customary closing adjustments.  The transaction is not expected to have a material impact on MSCI’s results of operations for 2014.
 
Davis Polk & Wardwell acted as legal advisers to MSCI.

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