Publicly traded Verisk Analytics Inc. will acquire Argus Information & Advisory Services, a provider of benchmarking, scoring solutions, analytics, and customized services to financial institutions. The purchase price is $425 million, and provides an exit for investor Oak Investment Partners.
Verisk Analytics, Inc. (Nasdaq:VRSK), a leading source of information about risk, announced today it has signed an agreement to acquire Argus Information & Advisory Services, LLC (“Argus”), a premier provider of information, competitive benchmarking, scoring solutions, analytics, and customized services to financial institutions and regulators in North America, Latin America, and Europe. The acquisition will further enhance Verisk’s position as a key provider of data, analytics, and decision support solutions to financial institutions globally.
Argus, based in White Plains, New York, maintains the most comprehensive de-personalized direct observation consortia data sets for the payments industry. Argus leverages this consortia data and provides proprietary solutions and information that enable clients to achieve higher profitability and growth through enhanced marketing and risk management decisions. Argus has deployed unique technology to manage vast data sets efficiently and currently manages more than one petabyte of payments data. For the past 15 years, Argus has provided important insights for its customers, who currently include most of the leading retail banks and credit card issuers in the United States, Canada, and the United Kingdom.
“Argus is a strong fit for Verisk because it serves the financial services industry as a trusted intermediary, much as Verisk and ISO have for many years,” said Frank Coyne, chairman and chief executive officer of Verisk Analytics. “We believe Argus will continue to build on its track record of exceptional growth and leverage the power of its contributory data model. We look forward to marrying the strong business built by the Argus team with Verisk’s analytical capabilities and customer base.”
“We’re excited to join the Verisk family of companies,” said Len Laufer, cofounder and CEO of Argus. “Argus is based on proprietary de-identified data and algorithms that provide insights to help our customers maximize profitability by balancing risk and reward. The merger will enhance our platform and provide the opportunity to grow our business in partnership with Verisk.”
“Verisk is an excellent fit with the culture and business model of Argus, as we are both built on proprietary data combined with intellectual horsepower. Our team looks forward to joining with our new colleagues at Verisk to continue our current path of growth while also creating future opportunities,” said Michael Heller, cofounder and president of Argus.
The purchase price is $425 million. As part of the transaction, Verisk expects to realize approximately $45 million in present value of tax benefits. The transaction is expected to close by September 2012, subject to the completion of customary conditions, including receipt of regulatory approvals. Verisk expects to use cash on hand and available capacity under its revolving credit facility to fund the purchase. The transaction is expected to be neutral to adjusted EPS in 2012 and accretive to adjusted EPS in 2013.
Len Laufer and Michael Heller, who cofounded Argus in 1997, will continue as leaders of the company. Under their stewardship, Argus grew significantly by providing unique insights to its customers through its analytical use of more than ten years of proprietary longitudinal data for the payments industry. In 2007, Oak Investment Partners made an investment in Argus to support the company’s growth.
Ann Lamont, a Managing Partner for Oak Investment Partners said, “It has been a pleasure to partner with Len and Michael for the last five years to help build Argus into a category leader in data and analytics for financial institutions. I am thrilled to see them join Verisk and look forward to seeing what they can achieve as part of this respected industry leader.”
Verisk Analytics will provide further details about the acquisition on conference call on Wednesday, August 8, 2012, at 8:30 a.m. Eastern time (5:30 a.m. Pacific time), available via webcast at http://investor.verisk.com. The discussion is also available through dial-in number 1-877-755-3792 for U.S./Canada participants or 706-758-8912 for international participants.
A replay of the webcast will be available on the Verisk investor website for 14 days and also through the conference call number 1-855-859-2056 for U.S./Canada participants or 404-537-3406 for international participants using Conference ID #18275575.
Argus Information & Advisory Services, LLC, is a leading provider of competitive benchmarking, scoring solutions, analytics, and customized services to financial services institutions and regulators in North America, Latin America, and Europe. Using more than ten years of de-identified longitudinal data, Argus provides important insights for its customers, who currently include most of the leading retail banks and credit card issuers in the United States, Canada, and the United Kingdom. For more information about Argus, visit www.argusinformation.com.
About Verisk Analytics
Verisk Analytics (Nasdaq:VRSK) is a leading provider of information about risk to professionals in insurance, healthcare, mortgage, government, and risk management. Using advanced technologies to collect and analyze billions of records, Verisk Analytics draws on vast industry expertise and unique proprietary data sets to provide predictive analytics and decision support solutions in fraud prevention, actuarial science, insurance coverages, fire protection, catastrophe and weather risk, data management, and many other fields. In the United States and around the world, Verisk Analytics helps customers protect people, property, and financial assets.