BC Partners, Advent Said to Be Bidding for Mergermarket

Four private-equity firms are in the second round of bidding for Mergermarket Ltd., Pearson Plc’s financial-information unit, according to four people with knowledge of the matter.

Advent International Corp., BC Partners, Providence Equity Partners Inc. and Warburg Pincus LLC have all been invited to submit second-round bids as Pearson seeks as much as $500 million for the business, said the people, who asked not to be identified because the talks are private.

Pearson, which appointed JPMorgan Chase & Co. to run the auction, plans to complete the sale by the end of the year, one person said. London-based Mergermarket was founded in 2000 to offer financial news and information to clients including banks and hedge funds, and was acquired by Pearson in 2006.

The London-based education company paid 101 million pounds ($167 million) for Mergermarket, which is currently part of its FT Group, the publisher of the Financial Times newspaper. Bloomberg LP, the owner of Bloomberg News, competes with Pearson in providing news and information to the financial-services industry.

A Pearson spokesman declined to comment. Officials at Advent International, BC Partners, Providence and Warburg Pincus either declined to comment or didn’t immediately respond to telephone requests seeking comment.

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