The Deal: IHS Climbs on $1.4 Billion Acquisition for Polk's Carfax

NEW YORK ( TheDeal) -- IHS ( IHS)was gaining as the information and automotive analytics company said it would acquire R.L. Polk & Co. for $1.4 billion, adding the Carfax vehicle history database and other automotive assets to its data and analytics offerings.

Southfield, Mich.-based Polk compiles and markets data on individual vehicle histories while selling data to individual consumers as well as manufacturers, dealers, insurance and finance firms and other clients.

The company's Carfax unit contains more than 11 billion vehicle records from more than 75,000 data sources, helping used car buyers know if the vehicle they are considering has any accident or repair history. Polk, according to IHS, generates annual sales of about $400 million with adjusted Ebitda margins in the mid-20s. Englewood, Colo.-based IHS, which has acquired more than 50 companies since 2007, said it intends to blend Polk with its existing automotive business.

"R.L. Polk has a long history of providing critical information to the automotive industry," IHS chief executive Scott Key said in a statement. "The combination with IHS Automotive creates a comprehensive capability that will significantly enhance customers' insights and decision processes across the full vehicle lifecycle with analytics from product planning through manufacturing, sales and into automotive aftermarkets."

Polk chairman and CEO Stephen Polk said that joining with IHS should create benefits for both his employees and the company's 30,000 customers worldwide. "The IHS global reach would expand the unique and vital role we've played in the auto industry over all these years, helping stakeholders across the value chain," Polk said.

IHS said it would fund the deal with about 10% equity, with the rest of the purchase price coming from cash on hand, cash from an existing revolver and a new bank term loan.

An Evercore Partners Inc. team composed of Jason Sobol, Jonathan Knee, Michael Price, Jaison Thomas, Adriana Salazar, Emily Zhou and Jeffrey Yoon advised Polk. M. Klein & Co.'s Michael Klein provided advice to IHS.

Written by Lou Whiteman in New York

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