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Tuesday, February 9, 2021

ETF-Connected PE Buys ETF.com

Reported by Neil Anderson, Managing Editor

A private equity firm connected to the ETF industry is buying an ETF-focused trade and investment publication.

Graham Tuckwell
ETFS Capital
Yesterday, Graham Tuckwell, chairman of ETFS Capital, and Laura Morrison, senior vice president and global head of listings at Cboe Global Markets, confirmed that London-based ETFS has purchased ETF.com from Chicago-based Cboe. The pricing and terms of the deal were not publicly disclosed, though according to the Cboe team the deal "immaterial from a financial perspective for Cboe Global Markets."

ETFS Capital is no stranger to the ETF-focused media world, and ETFS' Tuckwell is no stranger to ETF.com in particular. ETFS Capital already backs ETF Stream, akin to ETF.com but focused on Asia, Australia, and Europe, and Tuckwell was an early investor in IndexUniverse, which later rebranded as ETF.com. (Meanwhile, ETFS now already backs a number of other firms in the ETF and fintech spaces, and Tuckwell himself previously founded and later sold an ETF business.)

"All participants want more effective and innovative ways to share, analyse and understand the evolution of the global ETF industry, so we are acquiring and further investing in ETF.com to make this a reality," Tuckwell states. "ETF.com is also expected to benefit from the related businesses and expertise across our portfolio, covering data, analytics, index services, and front office technology amongst others, to help unlock further innovation opportunities."

Cboe's Morrison confirms that the trading and exchange company will keep working with ETF.com.

"Cboe plans to continue offering ETF.com's excellent resources and marketing services to our listings and trading clients as its global footprint broadens," Morrison states. "This deal also creates the opportunity for related collaboration between Cboe and ETFS Capital over time."

Drew Voros, editor-in-chief of ETF.com, offers more background on ETF.com's history. The publication's history goes back to 2001, to IndexFunds.com. A 2003 deal brought in the IndexUniverse brand, and a 2011 brought in the ETF.com domain and led to the rebranding of the whole shop. Bats Global Markets bought ETF.com in 2016 (while other buyers snapped up related events and data businesses), less than a year before Cboe bought Bats. 

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