Equifax Inc. (NYSE: EFX) today announced the acquisition of Austin-Tetra, a privately-held company that is a leading provider of business-to-business data management solutions for FORTUNE 1000 companies and government agencies. A world-class provider of supplier data management (SDM) and customer data management (CDM) services, Austin-Tetra will become a key part of Equifax’s strategy to grow its commercial business.  “With our robust data assets and analytics, Equifax has developed a market-leading commercial information business,” said Rick Smith, Equifax Chairman and CEO. “The addition of Austin-Tetra’s industry expertise and superior technology will provide customers with an expanded suite of commercial solutions.”

The cornerstone of Austin-Tetra’s offerings is the A-T Number®, a unique nine-digit identifier for individual business entities such as parent companies, subsidiaries, headquarters and branches. Using its proprietary technology and data match verification process, Austin-Tetra links data records to build corporate family structures for enterprise-wide visibility of customers and suppliers. The Austin-Tetra data-match verification process has an industry-leading accuracy rate – a powerful resource for customers seeking to optimize costs and relationships.  Austin-Tetra leverages a proprietary database of more than 30 million global businesses, with information aggregated from more than 300 information sources. Leading companies spanning a number of industries rely on its data management solutions to enhance their decision-making processes, enabling them to drive increased value from customer and supplier relationships. Equifax acquired Austin Consolidated Holdings, Inc. (Austin-Tetra) in an all-cash transaction; other financial terms of the acquisition were not disclosed. Austin-Tetra will maintain its presence in Irving, Texas and its Founder and CEO, Phil Berkebile Jr., will remain with Equifax under a consulting arrangement during the transition. The rest of the Austin-Tetra team will join Equifax.

BIIA Comment:  The Tetra A-T Number appears to be the third ‘unique’ identification system in use after the D&B’s D-U-N-S Number and the newly developed identification number EASY of COFACE and Creditreform.  When will the business information industry settle on one standard?

Global database size comparisons:  D&B 100m+; COFACE 40m+; Austin Tetra 30m+

BIIA Newsletter November – 2006 Issue