BlackRock to buy French software firm eFront for $1.3 billion in cash

FILE PHOTO: The company logo for BlackRock is displayed on a screen on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange in New York, U.S., March 30, 2017. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid/File Photo

(Reuters) - BlackRock Inc, the world’s biggest asset manager, said on Friday it would buy French investment software provider eFront from private equity firm Bridgepoint and eFront employees for $1.3 billion in cash.

BlackRock plans to integrate eFront with its investment platform Aladdin, which is used by more than 225 institutions around the world.

Aladdin began as an internal tool at the company before becoming the linchpin of BlackRock’s plan to increase revenues from technology. It is used by investment managers to help to oversee risks and make investment decisions.

Europe’s largest bank, HSBC, on Thursday signed a deal to offer BlackRock’s Aladdin investment management software to its wealthy customers.

Separately, BlackRock said it would buyback about 3.1 million of its shares at $412.84 apiece under its existing repurchase program. The share repurchase deal is expected to close on Monday.

Shares of BlackRock fell 2.8 percent to $418.28 at mid-afternoon.

Reporting by Arjun Panchadar in Bengaluru; Editing by Shinjini Ganguli