IHS Inc. To Acquire R.L. Polk For $1.4 Billion

IHS Inc. (NYSE:IHS), which is a business-information provider, has revealed plans to acquire R.L. Polk & Co. (OTCMKTS:POLL) for $1.4 billion in a cash-and-stock deal. R.L. Polk is the owner of the used car shopping tool Carfax.


The deal was made public by an official statement from Polk, issued on Sunday.  According to a previous estimate from people familiar with the operations of the company, it could have fetched $1 billion, says a report from the Wall Street Journal.

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On Monday, IHS issued a statement revealing that the deal will be funded by 10 percent equity, cash on hand and cash from an existing revolver and a new bank term loan. According to IHS, the acquisition will help it to expand in the auto industry. Also, the services offered by Polk’s will be a good match to IHS automotive products.

IHS President and Chief Executive Scott Key said, “The acquisition of R.L. Polk & Co. (OTCMKTS:POLL) brings extensive and complementary information and analytical solutions that would establish IHS Inc. (NYSE:IHS) as a vital strategic partner of the global automotive value chain.”

About Polk

Polk has operations in eleven countries. Carfax is the Southfield based company’s most popular product—it provides details on the repairs made to a used car before sale. Polk also collects and analyzes data related to vehicle registration and ownership, which is widely used in the auto industry for marketing and product planning purposes.

In March, Polk sought the help of Evercore Partners Inc. (NYSE:EVR) to evaluate options.

About Carfax

Polk acquired Carfax in 1999. Carfax provides detailed information on the used cars, which is helpful to buyers and dealers. Carfax, which recently expanded its operations in Europe, has heavily promoted its services on car-shopping websites and in television ads, asking buyers not to buy a car without a Carfax report.

Carfax was sued by 120 dealers in April, who are alleging the company engages in anticompetitive practices. Polk at that time stated the case will in no way affect its  “strategic growth alternatives.”

About IHS

IHS Inc. (NYSE:IHS), which has a market cap of around $7 billion, reported $1.5 billion in revenues, last year. The business-information provider also provides forecasting and data services for many industries. The company is also known for its acquisitions to fuel expansion.

As per IHS Inc. (NYSE:IHS), the deal is subject to customary closing conditions, including expiration or termination of the applicable waiting period under the Hart-Scott-Rodino Antitrust Improvements Act of 1976.