Friday 21 August 2020 9:16 am

Relx snaps up UK analytics firm Scibite in £65m deal

Relx today said it has acquired British data analytics firm Scibite as the publishing giant shifts its focus to digital services.

The FTSE 100 company did not disclose financial terms, but a source told City A.M. the deal was worth roughly £65m.

Read more: Exhibition giant Relx boosts profit but coronavirus risk looms

The deal forms part of Relx’s strategy to supplement organic growth with analytics and data acquisitions as it shifts its focus away from print.

The firm made seven acquisitions in the first half of this year — including Emailage and ID Analytics — for a total value of roughly £720m.

However, the Scibite deal represents a rare UK deal for the company, which makes most of its acquisitions in the US, where it generates roughly half its revenue.

Cambridge-based Scibite provides big data analytics for pharmaceutical companies, enabling them to make decisions about research and development.

The firm will be incorporated into Elsevier, the Relx division that publishes academic journals including The Lancet and Cell.

“The life sciences and corporate R&D communities face complex challenges, with an ever-expanding sea of data and content to extract knowledge from,” said Cameron Ross, managing director of life sciences solutions at Elsevier.

“We aim to combine Elsevier’s expertise and content from existing products, with Scibite’s impressive capabilities and suite of ontology-led products, to support more customers around the world make data led decisions in the drug development process.”

Relx has successfully shifted its business away from print over the last two decades, with digital products now accounting for 87 per cent of all revenue.

Read more: Relx splashes out $480m on fraud prevention firm Emailage

But the company has been hit by the cancellation of events during the coronavirus pandemic, which sparked a downturn in its exhibitions division.

Relx posted a 10 per cent fall in revenue to £3.5bn in the first half of the year, while operating profit dropped by almost a quarter.

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