Automotive research pioneer J.D. Power & Associates is moving on from McGraw Hill Financial after eleven years with the group. The new owners are London-based XIO Group, and the price is $1.1bn in cash.
The definitive agreement was reached on Friday, and the deal - subject to regulatory approvals and customary closing conditions - is scheduled to close in the third quarter of this year.
Now headquartered in London's iconic building The Shard, XIO Group describes itself as a global alternative investments firm, and has additional operations in Germany, Switzerland, Israel, Hong Kong and mainland China. It aims 'to identify and invest in market-leading businesses located across North America and Europe' and help them capitalise on new opportunities, particularly in Asia.
McGraw Hill Financial, which announced it was considering a sale last October and specifically that it was talking to XIO just two weeks ago, says the move will help it to increase focus on its key financial intelligence activities - subject to shareholder approval it will be renamed as S&P Global on 27th April, after its high-profile ratings agency (Standard & Poor's).
JD Power was founded in 1968 and remains headquartered in Westlake Village, California with twelve global offices. In the eleven years since it was acquired by McGraw Hill it has grown from just under 800 employees to around 7,000. The firm conducts customer satisfaction surveys, buyer behaviour analysis and product quality audits for clients in the automotive and other sectors.
MvGraw Hill Financial President and CEO Douglas L. Peterson says J.D. Power is 'a phenomenal brand' and his Board is 'very pleased with the outcome', adding: 'The transaction represents good value for our shareholders and positions J.D. Power for continued success'.
J.D. Power President Fin O'Neill says XIO is 'committed to maintaining our core brand identity and values while helping us grow and expand'. The firm plans to offer insights 'across a broader spectrum of consumer interaction, a more extensive global footprint and an increasingly digital, connected and mobile society'. XIO's Chief Executive says the Group has 'enormous respect for J.D. Power and its experienced and successful management team'.
XIO Group's has around $5 billion of committed capital for global transactions and to date its investments have been diverse, including a major specialty fertilizer business and the world's leading energy-based medical device player, according to its web site.
The companies are online at www.mhfi.com , www.xiogroup.com and www.jdpower.com .
All articles 2006-22 written and edited by Mel Crowther and/or Nick Thomas unless otherwise stated.