Credit information agency Experian has acquired LowerMyBills.com, an online service that enables US consumers to compare deals on loans, mortgages, insurance and other products, for $330m, plus a maximum performance-related earn-out of $50m over the next two years.
Formed in 1999 in California, LowerMyBills.com enables users to compare offerings from 400 service providers across 17 categories including home loans, credit cards, wireless services and car and health insurance.
Experian's parent company GUS says the acquisition is being funded from its existing banking facilities and is expected to generate a double-digit post-tax return on investment over time and is immediately accretive to earnings.
In a statement, Don Robert, CEO, Experian, says: "This acquisition represents a step-change in building Experian's direct-to-consumer activities...The strategic fit could not be better."
GUS is rumoured to be considering spinning off its credit checking unit and concentrating on its retail activities instead. The latest acquisition, which expands Experian's services, would increase the value of any demerger.
The vendor says all employees and management for LowerMyBills.com will be retained. The business will become part of the Experian Interactive unit, which also includes the vendor's Consumer Direct, MetaReward and Affiliate Fuel services.