S&P Global nears $ 44 billion deal for IHS Markit

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S&P Global set to close deal to buy IHS Markit for roughly $ 44 billion, in an acquisition that would bring together two of the world’s largest data providers and create a powerful challenger for information powers Bloomberg and Refinitiv, according to people knowledgeable on the matter.

A deal could be announced as early as Monday, one person said, as the two companies finalize the deal.

The move would mark the last round of consolidation among major data providers. The owner of the New York Stock Exchange, Intercontinental Exchanges, has closed his biggest deal after agreeing to buy US mortgage data provider Ellie Mae for $ 11 billion. This follows the London Stock Exchange’s decision to acquire Refinitiv for $ 27 billion a year ago.

London-based IHS Markit was seen as a potential buyout target for a major exchange, particularly ICE, since the LSE struck its own deal with Refinitiv.

An adviser, who was not directly involved in the talks between S&P Global and IHS Markit, said that even if the two come to a deal, it would still be possible for a rival buyer to negotiate the deal with a higher bid. .

Traders have become more comfortable with high-priced transactions in recent months, emboldened by the positive news of a Covid-19 vaccine and the end of the US election.

A deal between S&P Global, which has a market value of around $ 82 billion, and IHS Markit, with a market cap of $ 37 billion, would be the largest this year.

IHS Markit, born from a merger in 2016 between IHS and Markit, would strengthen S&P Global’s data and analytics offerings.

S&P Global, the company that controls the Standard & Poor’s rating agency, has been exploring options to bolster its data business since it bought SNL Financial for $ 2.2 billion in 2015, a person with knowledge of the subject said. .

The data analytics industry has intensified as companies team up to compete with behemoths like Michael Bloomberg’s eponymous company, whose terminals are ubiquitous on Wall Street.

A deal is likely to come under serious regulatory scrutiny as antitrust watchdogs are increasingly concerned about the oversized market power of an increasingly small group of data providers. LSE’s deal with Refinitiv has come under scrutiny in Brussels, signaling that regulators will subject long transactions to lengthy investigations.

The Wall Street Journal first reported that S&P Global and IHS Markit were in advanced negotiations.

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