Growth equity fund General Atlantic (GA) is set to sell half its stake in oil data group Argus Media in a deal that will value the firm at roughly £2bn.
City A.M. understands GA, which bought a 50 per cent stake in Argus three years ago for around £1bn, is in advanced talks with long-term capital providers to sell 25 per cent of the company.
The deal, first reported by Sky News, will give Argus a valuation of roughly £2bn, meaning the US investor is set to double its money.
The identity of the new investors is not clear, although the group is likely to include a number of pension funds or sovereign wealth funds, according to the report.
Following the deal, Argus chairman and chief executive Adrian Binks will retain his stake of just under 50 per cent of the company.
The sale will be a major coup for GA, which has more than £28bn of assets under management. It will also take Binks’s personal shareholding to almost £1bn.
Argus, which was founded in the 1970s by former journalist and Treasury private secretary Jan Nasmyth, provides price information and consultancy services in oil, gas and other commodities and counts S&P Global Platts among its rivals.
The sale is not believed to be a precursor to an initial public offering, but Argus may consider a floatation when GA sells the remainder of its stake, Sky News reported, citing City sources.
“Argus would like to confirm that there is no consideration of a change in the strategy of the business,” an Argus spokesperson said.
“General Atlantic remains invested in Argus and our long-term vision for growing the business involves taking advantage of opportunities both organically and through acquisitions.”
General Atlantic declined to comment.