Rupert and the IPO

November 17, 2007

Rupert Murdoch buys Dow Jones, an MSCI IPO blastoff? What's next?

Who knew the index business could be so exciting? First, a quick clarification from Matt's quick blog mention of FTSE. FTSE is not a part of the Financial Times company. It's is an independent company owned by the Financial Times and the London Stock Exchange. So it is already sort of a spin-off, albeit a privately held one.

But you know who I definitely was thinking is an interesting spin-off possibility? Dow Jones Indexes (which, with S&P Matt also mentions). Rupert really just cares about the Wall Street Journal, I'm guessing, so what about FTSE buying DJ Indexes and then doing an IPO, for example? S&P would certainly be interesting as a privately traded company as well.

And since the index and ETF industry have become positively bubbly lately, it would seem to be a decent opportunity to put the wind behind the back of any IPO ... and this despite an uncertain overall market. Matt—what about Index Publications? You made nary a mention of how we've been hounded to come out with an IPO of our own.

AFTER the next down cycle maybe ... with the contrarian bent we've got around here (save Hougan on, say, China or gold).

There are so many interesting competitive entanglements and wildly different business models around the index industry, that it will be very different to see how everything shakes out. We obviously had a big wave of deals already in the last 3 or 4 years. But I do feel another one coming on.



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