Verisk Analytics, Inc., a data analytics provider, today announced it has signed a definitive agreement to buy Wood Mackenzie from Hellman & Friedman and other Wood Mackenzie shareholders. The purchase price is £1.850 billion – approximately $2.8 billion – and it will be paid in cash.
Wood Mackenzie is a company providing in data analytics and commercial intelligence for the energy, chemicals, metals and mining verticals.
“The acquisition establishes Verisk as a trusted data analytics provider at the center of the global energy market, similar to its position in the property/casualty insurance industry,” Verisk has explained in a statement.
Verisk further said that the transaction advances Verisk’s strategy to expand internationally and positions the company in markets that relate closely to the company’s existing supply chain and climate risk initiatives, which are central to the global economy of the 21st century.
Based in Edinburgh, Wood Mackenzie has a track record of more than 40 years providing analysis and advice on energy assets, companies, and markets.
“Wood Mackenzie is a world-class company and an excellent addition to the Verisk family,” said Scott Stephenson, president and chief executive officer of Verisk Analytics. “The company has significant opportunities in the global energy, chemicals, metals and mining verticals, a track record of consistent revenue growth and profitability, distinctive and mission-critical solutions, and an impressive management team. Those are all features of a unique and wonderful business.”
“The culture of Wood Mackenzie is well aligned with that of Verisk, and we are eager to welcome our new colleagues. We think the people, the opportunity, and the business are a wonderful fit for who we are and what we aspire to be,” concluded Stephenson.
“This combination is a natural home for the business we’ve built over the years and a great opportunity for our customers and employees,” said Stephen Halliday, chief executive officer of Wood Mackenzie. “Our teams stand ready to build on the strength of our existing solutions with the benefit of Verisk’s analytic expertise, customer relationships, and financial resources.”
Patrick Healy, Managing Director and Deputy CEO of Hellman & Friedman said: “It has been a great privilege to be the partner of Wood Mackenzie. Together we made significant investments in technology and in new product development to further enhance the client user experience. Wood Mackenzie is positioned for continued growth and innovation with Verisk as its new partner.”
Verisk intends to finance the transaction through a combination of about $2 billion in debt and up to $800 million in equity. Pro forma for the acquisition, Verisk expects to maintain its investment-grade debt ratings and intends to de-lever to approximately 2.5x Debt/EBITDA by the end of 2016.
The transaction is expected to close during the second quarter of 2015, subject to the completion of customary closing conditions, including receipt of regulatory approvals. Stephen Halliday, Wood Mackenzie’s CEO, will continue to lead the business, reporting to Verisk president and CEO, Scott Stephenson.