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Black Knight paying $375 million to help buy Dun & Bradstreet

Joins CC Capital, Cannae Holdings, Thomas H. Lee Partners in buying D&B

Black Knight CEO Anthony Jabbour is about to have a new job, but he’s not leaving the growing financial technology giant. Rather, he’s tacking a new job title onto his existing responsibilities – running Dun & Bradstreet.

The move is part of recently announced buyout of Dun & Bradstreet, which will see the company purchased for $5.38 billion in cash and taken private by a group of investors, including CC Capital, Cannae Holdings, and Thomas H. Lee Partners.

That group now also includes Black Knight, which announced Monday that it is paying $375 million to acquire part of Dun & Bradstreet, the commercial data and analytics provider.

Through the deal, Black Knight will acquire an economic ownership interest of less than 20% in the re-capitalized Dun & Bradstreet.

As part of the deal, Jabbour will assume the role of CEO of Dun & Bradstreet, in addition to continuing to serve as Black Knight’s CEO. Additionally, Black Knight Executive Chairman Bill Foley will serve as executive chairman of Dun & Bradstreet’s board of directors.

“Dun & Bradstreet is a well-established market leader that will benefit greatly from this investment group’s proven track record of harnessing companies' potential and generating long-term growth,” Foley said in a release. “I am confident that with Anthony’s leadership, expertise and experience as well as the dedication of Dun & Bradstreet’s talented employees, the company’s best days are ahead.”

Chinh Chu, senior managing director and founder of CC Capital, said that the Black Knight team is the right choice to lead Dun & Bradstreet after the acquisition.

“We are pleased that Black Knight will invest alongside us in Dun & Bradstreet and that both Anthony and Bill will take on these new roles upon closing,” Chu said. “We are confident that they are the right leaders to help unlock the significant potential within this venerable company.”

Jabbour took over as Black Knight’s CEO earlier this year, when Tom Sanzone was elevated to the company’s vice chairman of the board.

Jabbour was previously the chief operating officer of Fidelity National Information Services’ banking and payments business. In this role, Jabbour had global accountability for solution development, sales and delivery of banking and payments offerings for clients of all sizes and in all geographic markets.

Sanzone served as Black Knight’s first CEO. The company was formed in January 2014 when its former parent company Fidelity National Financial merged its ServiceLink business with LPS and formed the new business.

And now, Jabbour will lead Dun & Bradstreet, which becomes part of Black Knight’s growing empire.

“We look forward to working with Anthony and the team as we reinvigorate growth at Dun & Bradstreet and create increased value for all stakeholders,” Thomas Hagerty, a managing director at Thomas H. Lee Partners, said. “We share in the excitement about what's ahead for the company and believe today's announcement is a testament to the strength of that future.”

Thomas H. Lee Partners is no stranger to fintech investing either. Last year, Thomas H. Lee Partners acquired a majority interest in Ten-X, and bought a piece of Guaranteed Rate.

“With an impressive 177-year legacy and the support of a phenomenal group of investors, Dun & Bradstreet is entering an important next chapter in its evolution as a company,” Jabbour said. “I am excited by the opportunities in leading Dun & Bradstreet and look forward to working closely with management, Bill and the rest of the consortium and continuing the company’s long history of excellence in helping customers and partners around the world.”

The companies expect the deal to close “no later than the first quarter of 2019.” Upon completion of the deal, Dun & Bradstreet will become a privately held company and shares of the company’s common stock will no longer be traded on the New York Stock Exchange.

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