Experian agrees to acquire Compuscan, extending its bureau presence in Africa

Experian, the global information services company, is pleased to announce that it has agreed to acquire Compuscan (CSH Group (Pty) Limited), one of the leading credit bureau and information services businesses in Africa.

Brian Cassin, Chief Executive Officer said:  “We are delighted to announce that Experian has agreed to acquire Compuscan. We have a long track record of investment in South Africa, where for many years we have helped businesses thrive through the provision of credit data and decisioning tools. Millions of people across Africa need access to financial services. By combining forces with Compuscan, we will be better positioned to serve the people and businesses of this region and be an enabler of growth in consumer and business credit, identity management and financial inclusion. This is an important transaction for our business in South Africa and will provide opportunities more broadly across the African continent. We look forward to welcoming the Compuscan team to Experian.”

Overview of Compuscan:   Founded in 1994, Compuscan is one of the leading providers of credit information and decision analytics in South Africa, with operations across seven key geographies in Sub-Saharan Africa. Compuscan also provides marketing services and has recently launched a free credit report service for consumers.

By combining Experian and Compuscan, we will enhance the services we can provide to our B2B customers and consumers, as well as delivering substantial operational synergies. In addition to deepening our bureau data assets, Compuscan has particular strength in analytics and scores, which is highly complementary to Experian’s strength in decisioning software. We will also be better positioned to leverage our continuing investment in innovation to combine the best of Experian with that of Compuscan to bring the latest and most competitive credit assessment tools to the African market. For example, we have recently introduced our big data analytics platform Ascend to financial services and telecommunications clients in South Africa and likewise see potential to expand Compuscan’s nascent position in providing services to consumers. Compuscan holds credit information on 26 million people and 200,000 businesses in South Africa, representing approximately 56% of the population.

The combined customer bases will also be highly complementary. Experian’s customers in South Africa are mainly large financial institutions and telecommunications operators, while Compuscan has an attractive position in the dynamic microlending space, as well as in the retail and insurance sectors.

Financial information: We have agreed to acquire 100% of Compuscan for a cash consideration of R3,720m (c.US$263m*) payable on completion. The transaction is expected to be funded from existing cash resources. The transaction is subject to approval by the Competition Commission in South Africa. It is expected to complete during the first quarter of financial year ending 31 March 2020.

For the year ending 31 December 2018, Compuscan is expected to generate R489 million (US$35 million) in revenue, growing to R532 million (US$38 million) in the year ending 31 December 2019. This compares to Experian revenues in South Africa of around US$40m. We expect the transaction to be accretive to Benchmark EPS in its first full year of ownership.

ZAR/US$ exchange rate of 14.17 as at 10 December 2018.

Source:  Experian