General Atlantic to buy media company Argus

The growth equity firm is in agreement to buy a majority stake in commodities reporting agency Argus, ending the founder family’s decades-long involvement.

Growth equity firm General Atlantic has agreed to acquire a majority stake in energy and commodity price reporting agency Argus.

The transaction will put Argus in its next phase of global expansion, which will involve the acceleration of product innovation and the development and expansion of coverage areas, the company said.

As part of the deal, Argus executive chairman and publisher Adrian Binks will remain in the business and keep most of his stake in the new structure alongside General Atlantic. General Atlantic managing directors John Bernstein and Gabrial Caillaux will become members of Argus board of directors.

The family of Argus founder Jan Nasmyth, who died in 2008, will sell its interests, while Argus employee stakeholders will have the option to reinvest in the new structure. Nasmyth founded the company in 1970 and was its chairman until his death.

The company currently has more than 750 employees, 160 publications and 21 offices globally, with clients in 140 countries.

General Atlantic made its first European investment in 1989 and has since invested over $5 billion in the Europe, Middle East and Africa region. Its portfolio includes Hyperion Insurance Group, Markit and Santander Asset Management.

The Argus deal is expected to close within two months. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

In January General Atlantic held a final close on a $250 million separate account run on behalf of the Virginia Retirement System, which is currently being invested, according to PEI Research & Analytics. The firm manages $17.9 billion in assets.