S&P Global is close to buying London-based financial data provider IHS Markit for $44 billion, report says

  • S&P Global is in advanced talks to buy IHS Markit for $US44 billion, the Wall Street Journal reported.
  • The mega deal would mark the largest transaction on Wall Street this year, according to Dealogic.
  • Talks could fall apart as the deal hasn’t been finalised. IHS Markit would be open to a rival offer if there is a higher bidder.
  • S&P Global has been looking to bolster its data business since its $US2.2 billion acquisition of SNL Financial in 2015.
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S&P Global is close to buying IHS Markit for $US44 billion in a deal that would bring together two powerful Wall Street financial data services, the Wall Street Journal reported.

A potential merger would challenge two of the largest global data providers, Bloomberg and Refinitiv.

London-based IHS Markit’s market cap stood at about $US37 billion as of Friday’s close, with its stock up 23% this year. S&P Global’s stock has gained 25% this year, giving it a market cap of $US82 billion.

The transaction would be an all-stock deal and could be formally announced as soon as Monday, WSJ said, citing sources. S&P’s $US44 billion deal to acquire IHS Markit would be the largest of the year, according to Dealogic. Other deals within close range include Nvidia’s $US40 billion deal to buy chip design firm Arm Holdings from SoftBank and NTT Docomo’s $US40 billion acquisition by Nippon Telegraph and Telephone Corp.

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Representatives from both companies did not immediately respond to Business Insider’s requests for comment.

IHS Markit, which provides financial data used by governments and businesses, was established in 2016 as a union of two smaller firms. It now employs over 5,000 analysts, data scientists, financial experts, and industry specialists.

The deal is not final and could still be interrupted if a higher bidder makes an offer, according to the Financial Times. S&P Global, which includes credit ratings agency Standard & Poor’s Global Ratings and commodity benchmark-pricing division Platts, has been seeking to strengthen its data business ever since its $US2.2 billion acquisition of SNL Financial in 2015, the FT said.

If the deal goes ahead, the two companies could be subject to antitrust scrutiny, as regulators become increasingly concerned over the narrowing power of smaller data providers compared with their larger rivals.

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