McGraw Hill Sells J.D. Power Unit to XIO Group for $1.1B

In what may be its final act under the McGraw Hill moniker, research firm McGraw Hill Financial (MHFI)  on Friday agreed to sell its J.D. Power & Associates market research subsidiary to London alternative investor XIO Group.

XIO Group would pay $1.1 billion for J.D. Power to allow New York-based McGraw Hill to focus on its financial activities -- the seller said that it will rename itself S&P Global April 27.

"We are very pleased with this outcome. The transaction represents good value for our shareholders and positions J.D. Power for continued success," said McGraw Hill president and CEO Doug Peterson in a statement.

McGraw Hill put J.D. Power on the block in October, with TheStreet's sister site, The Deal, forecasting that the company company could fetch as much as $1 billion. J.D. Power is expected to have sales of $350 million this year and analysts said the company would likely fetch $1 billion when the auction was launched.

The announcement was made after the market closed. McGraw Hill slipped $0.31 Friday to $99.77.

McGraw Hill has been busily reshaping itself into a financial data firm, including the 2015 acquisition of SNL Financial LLC from New Mountain Capital LLC for more than $2 billion and the sale of its McGraw Hill Construction to private equity shop Symphony Technology Group LLC in 2014.

The seller now has four main segments: Standard & Poor's rating services, S&P Capital IQ, S&P Dow Jones Indices and Commodities & Commercial. J.D. Power falls under the C&C division.

XIO Group turned to Moelis for financial advice. A Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom team provided counsel.

Morgan Stanley handled the auction for McGraw Hill, which took legal advice from Shearman & Sterling LLP.

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