Third Bridge, a UK-based primary research firm, is in exclusive talks with IK Investment Partners for the sale of a minority stake in the business, Third Bridge CEO Emmanuel Tahar said.
A deal is expected to be announced in the coming weeks, Tahar added.
IK Investment Partners declined to comment.
Third Bridge, formerly known as CognoLink, hired Quayle Munro earlier this year to guide an auction process, as reported by this news service in May.
The auction process had two stages and mainly attracted private equity firms, Tahar said. Proceeds will provide cash for shareholders, although it is still undecided which investors will exit their shares, he added.
Private equity and venture capital investor Beringea owns 13% of Third Bridge, having invested an undisclosed amount in 2012, as reported. Angel investors own a combined 30% while management owns the remainder.
Third Bridge generated USD 49.3m in revenue and USD 1.9m in profit for FY15, according to a filing on Company House. The company has grown 40% YoY for the last couple of years. North America is responsible for 30% of its revenue, with the remainder coming from Asia and Europe.
Third Bridge provides primary research services to investment firms and their advisers, including hedge funds, private equity firms, mutual fund managers and management consultants. It aims to help clients make investment decisions by connecting them to industry specialists.
The company was founded in 2007. It has 500 employees spread across London, New York, Hong Kong, Shanghai and Mumbai.
by Amy-Jo Crowley