S&P Global Plans to Buy IHS Markit for $44 Billion

If approved, this will become the largest acquisition deal of 2019.

New York-headquartered S&P Global Inc is expected to acquire IHS Markit Ltd, thus merging the two financial data giants into one.

Citing “people familiar with the matter,” The Wall Street Journal reported that the deal could be of around $44 billion, making it the largest acquisition deal of the year. The acquisition will be an all-stock deal.

Neither of the companies confirms the possibility of signing a deal of this magnitude yet. But, an official announcement could be out as soon as Monday.

Founded in 2016 with the merger of IHS and Markit, the London-headquartered firm offers software to banks for underwriting stocks and bond offerings.

With around $37 billion in market value, IHS Markit is one of the largest financial data stream providers, and the demand for its products has increased significantly in recent years. The company reported its Q3 financials in September, showing more than a 300 percent jump in its net income.

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Moreover, S&P Global is one of the leaders in the capital and commodities data markets and is known for providing debt ratings to countries and companies. It parted from its previous parent McGraw-Hill in 2011 and now has a market capitalization of about $82 billion.

The Race to Dominate Financial Data

In the past two decades, the demand for financial data skyrocketed, which spawned many players in the market.

Though the S&P Global-IHS Markit deal is yet to be finalized, the London Stock Exchange parent is clearing its way to acquire Refinitiv for $27 billion. That acquisition faced anti-trust hurdles from European regulators which forced the stock exchange operator to sell its stake in the Italian bourse.

Furthermore, the LSE Group is expecting to close the Refinitiv acquisition in the first quarter of next year.

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