Interactive Data Corporation said Tuesday it signed an agreement to acquire data and electronic tools belonging to Dow Jones & Company’s Online Financial Solutions business.

The $750 million a year provider of financial market data and analytical tools said the transaction should be completed within weeks, contingent upon “customary closing conditions.”

The data and tools being acquired are used to develop and host Web services, including news, news alerts, market data, research, advanced charting and portfolio management. This part of Dow Jones’ business, Interactive Data said, serves approximately 200 financial institutions, active investor services and media Web portals.

Interactive Data plans to integrate the acquired assets into its U.S. Managed Solutions group, which is part of its Interactive Data Real-Time Services.

Roughly 75% of the 200 customers for the Dow Jones business are the kinds of institutional customers -- brokerages such as Pershing and banks such as Citibank -- that the Managed Solutions group serves. This means the acquisition will "increase our footprint in the United States,'' said Luan Cox, General Manager of Interactive Data Managed Solutions (Americas).

The acquisition will, she said, allow Managed Solutions' customers to provide better retail services to their wealth management customers.

The OFS assets were formerly part of MarketWatch Licensing Services prior to the acquisition of MarketWatch, Inc. by Dow Jones in 2005. Dow Jones will retain its news business and enter into a non-exclusive redistribution agreement with Interactive Data to sell MarketWatch news to new and existing customers in the OFS market.

The sale does not include Dow Jones’ indexing business, which includes the Dow Jones Industrial Average.

The firm expects to keep “a number of employees” from the OFS business, which has operations in Minneapolis, New York City and San Francisco.

This article can also be found at SecuritiesIndustry.com.

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