Verisk Analytics to enter energy market with Wood Mackenzie takeover

Caitlin Morrison
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Wood Mackenzie specialises in analysis of energy data
Data firms Verisk Analytics and Wood Mackenzie are to come together in a £1.85bn deal announced yesterday.

Verisk, which specialises in analysis of the insurance market, will purchase Wood Mackenzie from private equity house Hellman & Friedman and other shareholders, using a combination of around $2bn (£1.33bn) in debt and up to $800m in equity.

Morgan Stanley and Bank of America Merrill Lynch are acting as financial advisers to Verisk and as joint lead arrangers the financing of the transaction, while Deutsche Bank and Lazard acted as financial advisers to Wood Mackenzie.

Edinburgh-based Wood Mackenzie, which provides data and analysis on the energy, chemicals, metals and mining markets, reported revenue of £227m for 2014.

Scott Stephenson, the president and chief executive of Verisk, said Wood Mackenzie had a track record of consistent revenue growth and profitability as well as “distinctive and mission-critical solutions” and an “im­pressive management team”.

Stephenson added: “The cul­ture of Wood Mackenzie is well aligned with that of Verisk, and we are eager to welcome our new colleagues. We think the people, the opportunity, and the business are a wonderful fit for who we are and what we aspire to be.”

Meanwhile, Stephen Halliday, Wood Mackenzie’s chief executive, commented: “This combination is a natural home for the business we’ve built over the years and a great opportunity for our customers and employees.”

Hellman & Friedman bought its majority stake in Wood Mackenzie from Charterhouse for £1.1bn in 2012. The private equity firm’s managing director Patrick Healy said: “Together we made significant investments in technology and in new product development to further enhance the client user experience. Wood Mackenzie is posit­ioned for continued growth and innovation with Verisk as its new partner.”

The takeover is expected to close during the second quarter of 2015, with Halliday cont­inu­ing to lead Wood Mack­enzie, reporting to Stephenson.

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