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IHS buys R.L. Polk to broaden automotive expertise

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IHS Inc. (NYSE: IHS) is boosting its car expertise through the acquisition of automotive intelligence company R.L. Polk. 

IHS is paying $1.4 billion for the owner of Carfax, a service that provides historical reports to consumers on used vehicles.

The Englewood, Colorado-based market research specialist will fund the transaction through a combination of cash, debt and equity. 

"The acquisition of R.L. Polk brings extensive and complementary information and analytical solutions that would establish IHS as a vital strategic partner of the global automotive value chain,” said IHS president and chief executive officer Scott Key in the company's release. 

Key said Carfax, which has a database of more than 10 billion cars and trucks in North America, is a a template that can be repeated in other parts of the world. Carfax recently expanded into Europe. 

This is IHS's third acquisition this year as its expands the breadth of its data wealth. In April the company bought Fekete Associates, which specializes in oil and gas industry software. 

In January, the company purchased Energy Publishing, a company that mines data in the coal industry in North American, Asian and Australian markets. 

IHS shares had risen 1.8 per cent to $108.85 as of 11:02 am ET. After a precipitous drop last September due to a quarterly earnings miss and toned-down full-year forecast, IHS shares reached a 52-week low in November. Since then, the stock has climbed 31 per cent.

IHS is scheduled to report second quarter earnings on June 20. The mean analyst consensus is $1.03 per share on $422.5 in revenue. 

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