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Experian buys upstart rival ClearScore for £275mln

ClearScore was only founded in July 2015. It was the first company in the UK to provide free access to credit reports

Experian credit checking
The acquisition of ClearScore will combine two well-known, high growth UK consumer brands, both of which will be retained

Credit checking outfit Experian PLC (LON:EXPN) is to acquire smaller rival ClearScore for £275mln.

ClearScore provides free access to credit reports and scores and then tries to push the customer on to suitable financial products, like offers for credit cards, loans, mortgages, car loans or other services.

READ: Experian posts 5% increase in third quarter organic revenue driven by North America

To date, ClearScore, which was founded in July 2015, has enrolled more than six million members in the UK through its free membership model.

Experian said the ClearScore brand would be retained.

“I believe that this acquisition will allow us to grow faster and develop exciting new innovations that will deliver improved financial well-being to you, our current users, in the UK and South Africa, and hopefully millions more around the world,” said Justin Basini, the chief executive officer of ClearScore, on a blog post.

In 2018, ClearScore is on track to generate revenue of around US$55mln, which is some 50% higher than in 2017.

Experian expects the acquisition to be earnings-neutral in 2018, with an expected underlying earnings (Ebit) contribution of around US$20mln in 2019, before integration costs are factored in.

One-off integration expenses of US$20mln are expected, while Experian is targeting costs synergies of at least US$25mln a year.

"In acquiring ClearScore, we will take another important step in our strategy to extend the services we provide to UK consumers,” said Brian Cassin, the chief executive officer of Experian.

“Our goal is to provide more choice and greater convenience to individuals who want access to personal financial products at the best prices, while also making it easier for credit providers to offer better, more tailored offers to consumers,” he added.

Shares in Experian were up 1.9% at 1,613.5p in afternoon trading.

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LSE:EXPN
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Market Cap: £26.04 billion
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