Intercontinental Exchange to pay $13.1 billion for data company

Jeffrey Sprecher, founder, chair and chief executive of Atlanta-based Intercontinental Exchange. (Contributed)

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Jeffrey Sprecher, founder, chair and chief executive of Atlanta-based Intercontinental Exchange. (Contributed)

Atlanta-based Intercontinental Exchange has agreed to buy Black Knight, a real estate analytics company, for $13.1 billion, according to a news release from the companies.

Black Knight offers a wide array of software and data and analysis for companies in real estate and housing finance. The company says its products lower costs and enable clients to grow with less risk.

The acquisition is meant to mesh with ICE’s own business in technology for the mortgage loan market, said Jeffrey Sprecher, the firm’s chair and chief executive, in a statement.

“ICE’s simple mission has been to make analog and opaque financial transactions more digital and transparent,” he said.

ICE expects the deal to add roughly $125 million to its revenues within the next five years.

Last fiscal year, ICE reported revenues of $7.1 billion. In the first quarter of this fiscal year, the company reported revenues of $1.9 billion, up 6% from the same quarter a year earlier.

Black Knight, which is based in Jacksonville, has about 6,500 employees and finished last year with revenues of $386.2 million. The company traces its roots to a company named Computing and Statistical Services, which was founded in 1962.

The release did not mention any potential impacts to operations in metro Atlanta.

The ICE agreement with Black Knight has been approved by the boards for both companies, but still needs consent from the shareholders of Black Knight. After that, the deal would still need to pass muster with federal regulators.

Assuming the pact gets thumbs-up all the way, the transaction would be final early next year, officials said.

Founded in 2000, high-flying ICE operates numerous trading platforms for contracts for crude oil, sugar and other commodities, which affects the price of things such as gasoline and groceries.

The company made its biggest splash nationally in 2013 when it purchased the New York Stock Exchange.

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