DETROIT – Shares of global information firm IHS Inc. rose nearly 3 per cent Monday after the company announced a $1.4 billion acquisition of R.L. Polk & Co., the owner of the popular Carfax service.
Carfax compiles vehicle history reports that include title changes and damage from crashes.
IHS said Sunday night that it will pay 10 per cent in stock and cover the rest with cash on hand, a revolving credit line and a new bank term loan. IHS, based in Englewood, Colo., said the deal is subject to customary closing conditions.
Shares of IHS rose $3.05, or 2.9 per cent, to close at $109.99 Monday.
IHS said Polk’s automotive information services are complementary to its own and open up additional markets for IHS. Carfax also is a high-growth U.S. asset that can be replicated in other countries to take advantage of growing used car markets, IHS said in its Sunday statement.
Polk has about $400 million in annual revenue, and that’s growing in the mid-to-high single digits, IHS Chief Financial Officer Todd Hyatt said in the statement.
“Approximately 75 per cent of its overall revenue is recurring in nature, with approximately 90 per cent renewal rates, attractive margins and high levels of free cash flow conversion,” Hyatt said.
Polk CEO Stephen Polk said IHS’s global presence will expand “the unique and vital role we’ve played in the auto industry over all these years.”
Southfield, Mich.-based Polk collects global auto sales, registration and other data and sells it to automakers and parts companies.
The company was founded by Ralph Lane Polk in 1870, as publisher of city directories. Polk began publishing automotive industry statistics in the early 1920s at the request of General Motors president Alfred P. Sloan, according to the Polk website.
IHS provides information to businesses and governments in more than 165 countries.