Experian sells French units; keeps PriceGrabber

Source: Experian

Experian, the global information services company, announces an agreement to dispose of its transaction processing activities in France and reports the outcome of the PriceGrabber strategic review.

Transaction processing activities in France

Experian announces that it has reached an agreement to sell its transaction processing activities in France, which includes its card processing and business process outsourcing activities, to Advent International and Doc@Post (a subsidiary of La Poste) respectively. The sale is subject to certain conditions precedent, including clearance from the French competition authorities. Completion is currently expected to occur before the end of 2008.

The agreed gross cash consideration is €203m, on a debt and cash free basis. After taxes and other transaction costs net cash inflow is estimated to be approximately €150m. Proceeds from the sale will be used to repay bank borrowings. For the year ended 31 March 2008, revenue from Experian's transaction processing activities in France was €240m (US$341m) and EBIT was €26m (US$37m).

The transaction processing activities in France will be treated as a discontinued operation in the statutory financial statements for the year ended 31 March 2009, and as such henceforth will be excluded from organic revenue growth and Benchmark profit before tax and Benchmark EPS.

Experian continues to have a strong presence in France, through its Decision Analytics and Marketing Services activities, which form part of its growing core activities.

PriceGrabber strategic review

In February, Experian also announced that it was undertaking a review of PriceGrabber and its fit within the Experian portfolio. As part of this process, Experian considered a divestment of the business and talked to a number of parties. However, in light of the current funding environment for potential buyers, Experian has concluded that at this time divestment is not in the best interests of shareholders.

PriceGrabber is an attractive business, with good prospects, which has performed well since acquisition. Experian will continue to strengthen PriceGrabber's market position through new product innovation, driving traffic volumes and leveraging the core infrastructure.

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