CUSIP Global Services (CGS), the numbering agency responsible for identifying millions of securities, has been bought by software company FactSet in a $1.9 billion cash deal.
CGS had been managed by S&P Global for more than 50 years, however the rating agency had to divest its holding in CGS as a result of its proposed $44 billion merger with data provider IHS Markit.
CSG manages a database that provides unique identifiers for more than 50 million global financial instruments and acts as the official numbering agency for ISIN identifiers in the US. According to CSG, it is the “foundation for security master files relied on by critical front, middle and back-office functions”.
Following the acquisition, CGS will become part of Factset’s Content and Technology Solutions division and will continue to oversee the CUSIP system along with the American Bankers Association.
FactSet CEO Phil Snow described CGS as a “unique asset with tremendous market recognition providing deep alliances across the financial industry”.
Both the FactSet acquisition and the S&P/IHS Markit merger underline the growing value of data and the moves by large data providers to build a more comprehensive offering.