April 16, 2019 / News

Moody’s takes controlling stake in ESG specialist

By Joe McGrath, ESG Clarity

The deal is a response to the increasing importance of sustainability factors to investment decision-making

Moody’s takes controlling stake in ESG specialist

Ratings agency Moody’s has acquired the majority stake of ESG ratings and research group Vigeo Eiris, it has confirmed.

Paris-based data analytics group Vigeo Eiris specialises in  decision making tools for sustainable and ethical investment screening. While it will continue to operate under its existing brand, it will become an affiliate of Moody’s Investors Service.

“Vigeo Eiris has been a pioneer in bringing greater transparency and awareness of ESG and sustainability issues to market participants and has continued to innovate and expand as demand for this information has grown,” Moody’s Investors Service, global head of assessments, Myriam Durand, said in a media statement.

“Moody’s acquisition of a majority stake in Vigeo Eiris will contribute to the further development of leading ESG risk assessments, enabling the market to benefit from a global standard in assessing ESG considerations as part of their investment decisions.”

In announcing the deal, Moody’s said that the transaction reflects the growing importance that ESG issues are having to all market participants, stressing their relevance to issuers, investors, and counterparties alike. The group said that investors are seeking “clear and objective standards” on which to measure corporate behaviour.

“This acquisition reinforces the importance of ESG assessments to market participants,” said Nicole Notat, president of Vigeo Eiris.

“We look forward to working with Moody’s to offer customers access to a broad range of comprehensive sustainability risk assessments, research and data.”

Specific financial terms of the transaction were not made public. Moody’s said that the transaction would not have a “material impact” on its financial results.