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S&P Global, IHS Markit Spin Off Businesses, Prepare Merger

Tom Burroughes, Group Editor, 3 January 2022

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The firms provide much of the data, analytics and research that is used by the wealth management and wider financial services sector.

Business information, research and analytics group S&P Global and IHS Markit, the information service, have said they are selling businesses to avoid falling foul of anti-trust regulations as they plan their $44 billion merger.

S&P Global will sell securities data solutions provider CUSIP Global Services (CGS) to financial data services firm FactSet for $1.93 billion in cash, while IHS will sell its Base Chemicals business to News Corp, for $295 million, they said in a statement late in December. 

The businesses have won US anti-trust clearance for the merger. As part of the process, they must sell particular firms.

The firms said they expected that the combined group would receive net sale proceeds of about $1.3 billion from the transactions.

S&P Global has also pledged to divest its Leveraged Commentary and Data (LCD) business, along with a related family of leveraged loan indices as a condition for regulatory approval. Under the European Commission's conditional approval of the merger of S&P Global and IHS Markit, execution of an agreement to sell the LCD business can occur after the closing of the merger, the firms said in a statement on 27 December 2021. 

The companies previously said they were divesting IHS Markit's Oil Price Information Services (OPIS), Coal, Metals and Mining (CMM), and PetroChem Wire (PCW) businesses to NewsCorp in August 2021 as part of the ongoing merger review process.

The divestitures remain subject to further review and approval by antitrust regulators. S&P Global and IHS Markit still expect to close their merger in the first quarter of 2022, subject to closing conditions being satisfied.

Goldman Sachs is financial advisor to S&P Global, and Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz serves as legal counsel. Davis Polk & Wardwell LLP is serving as legal counsel for IHS Markit.

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