S&P Global to pay $44bn in stock to acquire IHS Markit

S&P Global Inc has agreed to pay $44 billion in stock to acquire IHS Markit Ltd in the biggest deal of 2020.

The deal accelerates a wave of consolidation among the global finance industry’s data providers and follows London Stock Exchange Group Plc’s $27 billion deal last year to acquire financial data provider Refinitiv from Blackstone Group Inc and Thomson Reuters Corp.

The proposed deal is likely to be scrutinized by antitrust regulators.

The deal would combine S&P Global’s credit ratings, market intelligence businesses and stock and energy benchmarks with IHS Markit’s fixed income benchmarks and indices, bond pricing and reference data, and information on the natural resources, automotive and engineering sectors, Reuters reported.

The merger would also lead to the distribution of IHS Markit products and services to S&P Global’s 1 million desktop users.

Under the terms of the proposed merger agreement, which has been unanimously approved by the boards of of both companies, each share of IHS Markit will be exchanged for a fixed ratio of 0.2838 shares of S&P Global stock.

Current S&P Global shareholders would own 67.75% of the combined company on a fully diluted basis, while IHS Markit shareholders would own 32.25%.

S&P Global CEO Douglas Peterson will serve as CEO of the combined company. 

IHS Markit CEO Lance Uggla will stay on as a special advisor to the company for one year following closing. 

“Through this exciting combination, we are able to better serve our markets and customers by creating new value and insights,” said Peterson.

“This merger increases scale while rounding out our combined capabilities, and accelerates and amplifies our ability to deliver customers the essential intelligence needed to make decisions with conviction.

“We are confident that the strengths of S&P Global and IHS Markit will enable meaningful growth and create attractive value for all stakeholders.”

Uggla said: “This transaction is a win for both IHS Markit and S&P Global as we leverage our respective strengths in information, data science, research and benchmarks.

“Our highly complementary products will deliver a broader set of offerings across multiple verticals for the benefit of our customers, employees and shareholders.”

Goldman, Sachs & Co. LLC is serving as lead financial advisor to S&P Global. Citi and Credit Suisse are also serving as financial advisors to S&P Global.

Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz is serving as legal advisor to S&P Global.

Morgan Stanley & Co. LLC is serving as lead financial advisor to IHS Markit. Barclays, Jefferies LLC and J.P. Morgan Securities LLC are also serving as financial advisors to IHS Markit. 

Davis Polk & Wardwell LLP is serving as legal advisor to IHS Markit.