IHS Inc., a global source of critical information and analytics, has signed a definitive agreement to acquire R.L. Polk & Co., a company that provides automotive information and analytics solutions, including those for commercial trucks for $1.4 billion.

The $1.4 billion transaction will be funded with 10% equity and the remainder with cash on hand, cash from an existing revolver and a new bank term loan. The acquisition is subject to customary closing conditions, including expiration or termination of the applicable waiting period under the Hart-Scott-Rodino Antitrust Improvements Act of 1976.

R.L. Polk consists of two divisions – Polk and Carfax – that provide actionable market intelligence, tools and analytics and extensive vehicle history data. For nearly a century, the company has synthesized the fragmented big data exhaust of the automotive industry into meaningful, reliable and intuitive offerings to stakeholders across the value chain:

  • Polk provides mission-critical market data, analysis and tools for the entire automotive ecosystem. This division enables automotive business customers to improve, predict, analyze and measure performance.
  • Carfax provides consumers and automotive dealers with vehicle history information to enhance used vehicle purchase and sales decisions. This division is the primary source of vehicle history information for cars operating in the U.S. and Canada.

The acquisition would also provide IHS with a high-growth U.S. asset, Carfax, that can be replicated in other geographies to take advantage of the expected high growth in worldwide used car markets, according to the company.

M. Klein and Company acted as strategic and financial advisor to IHS in this transaction.