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MSCI to Acquire IPD for $125 Million to Gain Real Estate Gauges

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Oct. 31 (Bloomberg) -- MSCI Inc., which says its gauges are tracked by investors managing about $7 trillion, agreed to purchase IPD Group Ltd. for $125 million in cash to expand its presence in the real estate industry.

The acquisition isn’t expected to materially affect MSCI’s 2012 results, the New York-based company said in a statement today. The deal, expected to close in the fourth quarter, is subject to “customary closing conditions,” MSCI said in the statement.

“IPD’s real estate industry knowledge and strong capabilities complement MSCI’s expertise in providing investment tools for the equities, fixed income, hedge fund, energy and commodities markets,” MSCI Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Henry Fernandez said in the statement. “The real estate investment market presents considerable opportunities for growth, and we look forward to helping to accelerate the institutionalization and globalization of real estate as an asset class.”

MSCI’s purchase of London-based IPD gives the company a brand that investors use to track real estate performance indexes and property transactions. IPD had $47.7 million of revenue in 2011, according to the statement. The acquisition is MSCI’s largest since it bought Riskmetrics Group Inc. in a deal announced in March 2010 that was valued at about $1.58 billion.

MSCI, once part of Morgan Stanley, developed gauges such as the MSCI World Index of developed-market stocks. Its second-quarter operating revenue was $239 million, an increase of 5.3 percent from a year earlier, according to an Aug. 2 company statement.

Lazard & Co. was lead adviser to IPD Group, supported by Tom Van Oss and Portico Capital. Linklaters LLP were legal advisers to IPD, supported by Addis Law, according to the statement. Law firms Davis Polk & Wardwell LLP and Allen & Overy LLP advised MSCI.

To contact the reporter on this story: Jeffrey St.Onge in London at jstonge@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Andrew Blackman at ablackman@bloomberg.net

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