Dun & Bradstreet, the US data company which was founded in the 1841 as one the first credit checking agencies in the world, has agreed to sell to a consortium of investment firms in a deal valued at $6.9bn (£5.4bn).
Headquartered in New Jersey, the firm has operations in five continents – North and South America, Australia, Asia and Europe – and its database contains more than 290 million business records worldwide.
The buyers are led by CC Capital and Cannae Holdings and the transaction includes the $1.5bn (£1.2bn) of the company’s net debt and pension obligations.
The deal dwarfs the spate of recent acquisitions in the market, which has seen ARM Holdings buy data analytics start-up Treasure Data for $600m (£456m), IPG acquire Acxiom for $2.3bn (£1.7bn) and Callcredit being snapped up by TransUnion for $1.4bn (£1bn).
Thomas Manning, Dun & Bradstreet’s interim chairman and chief executive, will lead the company through the transaction, which is expected to close within six months, subject to shareholder approval and mandatory clearances.
The agreement includes a period of 45 days, during which D&B is permitted to potentially enter into negotiations with other interested parties.
Manning said: “The announcement is the culmination of a thoughtful and comprehensive review of the value creation opportunities available to the company as part of a full portfolio and business assessment and exploration of strategic alternatives with multiple financial sponsors. As a result of this process, the Dun & Bradstreet board of directors unanimously determined that this all-cash transaction with the investor group is in the best interest of our shareholders and our company.”
CC Capital senior managing director and founder Chinh Chu said: “Dun & Bradstreet is a high-quality business with a 177-year history of serving its global customer base. We look forward to working with our partners and Dun & Bradstreet’s talented team to unlock the immense potential within this venerable company.”
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