With four owners in 4-1/2 years, many hope that VARDS has finally found a home with Morningstar, which announced Tuesday it has bought the company from Finetre for $9 million in cash, adjusted for working capital.

"The VARDS acquisition further strengthens Morningstar's investment database and complements our business well. Many people invest in variable annuities," said Joe Mansueto, chairman and CEO of Morningstar. "It's important that they have the best possible information to help them choose wisely among a wide array of investment offerings." VARDS provides data and research on variable annuities; as a data company itself, Morningstar may prove to be a good fit.

Finetre will use the influx of cash to invest in its core business and further growth, said Shane Chalke, CEO of Finetre. "Finetre's core business of annuity transaction processing and compliance automation is experiencing very rapid growth. That fact combined with the obvious strategic fit of VARDS with Morningstar makes this transaction a win for all parties, especially VARDS clients," Chalke said.

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