US information giant TransUnion has swooped on Callcredit Information Group in deal worth over $1.4bn (£1bn), just four years after the company’s management flogged the business to GTCR for £480m.
Callcredit was formed in November 2000 with backing from the Skipton Building Society to take on the duopoly of Experian and Equifax.
Three years later, Callcredit, EuroDirect and GMAP Consulting were brought together under the umbrella name of the Skipton Information Group. It rebranded to Callcredit Information Group in 2009; the same year that London-based buyout firm Vitruvian Partners bought the firm for an estimated £120m.
In 2014, the management secured a £480m deal with US private equity firm GTCR Golder Rauner.
The company is now the UK’s second largest credit reference agency behind Experian and also offers a raft of marketing data and insight solutions. In July last year, the group posted a record 18% increase in gross revenue to £201m for 2016, up from £170m in 2015, with group operating profits up 20%.
The company employs more than 1,300 across sites in Leeds, London, Stockport, Warrington and at its HQ in Leeds. It also has international offices in Spain, US, Japan, China, Dubai and Lithuania and has agents working across other international markets.
TransUnion already operates in 33 countries and says it will apply its “global operating model” to the acquisition to “optimise business and operational processes.”
The acquisition is anticipated to close late in the second quarter or early in the third quarter pending regulatory approval.
TransUnion president and chief executive Jim Peck said: “TransUnion and Callcredit have strong synergies across our business models and solutions, and we share a commitment to using information to benefit consumers and global economies alike.
“Callcredit is an outstanding acquisition for TransUnion, and together, we’ll be a powerful force to deliver value to shareholders, customers and consumers across all the markets we serve.”
The combined operation is also eyeing potential growth in the fintech market, which is driving demand for credit reporting services worldwide.
Callcredit chief executive Mike Gordon said: “Investment by a global company with an established track record, shared values and leadership who recognised our market potential is absolutely the right fit for us and the market,
“We are excited about the future and unique opportunity to elevate our competitive advantage with TransUnion through our combined innovation and expertise.”
Bullish Callcredit rebrands as profits soar to record high
Callcredit signs Spanish deal for international expansion
Callcredit acquires customer experience specialist
Callcredit shake-up to put analytics at heart of business
Callcredit reveals line-up of unified marketing team
Callcredit relaunches Define after 8-month revamp