Monday 23 August 2021 11:22 am

CMA to probe S&P Global's £33bn takeover of IHS

The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has just announced the launch of an inquiry into S&P Global’s £33bn takeover of IHS Markit Ltd. 

The CMA gave notice today that it plans to investigate the anticipated merger between credit ratings giant S&P Global and IHS Markit.

The deadline for its decision on whether the merger is referred to a second phase investigation, said the CMA, is 19 October.

S&P Global agreed the £33bn deal to acquire data firm IHS Markit, in November 2020, in a move that many said would create a new financial services giant.

The price tag – which S&P paid in stock – was the largest deal in 2020, a boost for the market after the pressures of the coronavirus pandemic.

The mega deal highlighted the growing importance of big data in financial markets governed by trading algorithms as it came a year after The London Stock Exchange’s $27bn purchase of Refinitiv.

In February S&P Global Market Intelligence, the news and data division of S&P Global, laid off around 700 people in various offices around the world, including Canary Wharf, Hong Kong and New York City.

Staff were, at the time, told the layoffs were not a result of the proposed merger between S&P Global and IHS Markit.

Ratings giant S&P was formed in 2011 when former parent firm McGraw-Hill spun it out from its education business.

The company is  best known for providing credit ratings for countries and companies, as well as global market information.

IHS Markit is perhaps best known for supplying the monthly Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI), a measure of economic performance.

The company was formed in 2016 from the merger, worth around $6bn, of data firm IHS and Markit, which was founded by former credit trader Lance Uggla.