Experian’s growth is driven by acquisitions and new product development. Experian normally spends between US$ 600 mil to US$ 700 mil on acquisitions, however last year it spend only US$82 million. The primary reason given by Experian was a shortage of suitable targets. However it is now engaged in discussions with SERASA, the large Brazilian credit bureau. As India is finally opening up its consumer credit information market to outsiders, Experian has applied for a license to open up shop there. That means entering de-novo with heavy expense investment.
Playing in the Internet space was probably the primary reason for buying HITWISE. Having access to unique data was said to be a secondary reason. What Experian will do with such data has yet to be seen. Whatever it may be will no doubt give rise to increased privacy concerns.
The new Experian value proposition which combines BizSourceSM and TrueSearchSM, allows persistent tracking of a small business and its owner by delivering a complete and comprehensive view of the business over time. It was a development waiting to happen in the age of search engines. It will certainly heat up competition in the commercial credit space because small businesses make up over 95% of national economies and are prime targets for lending. Lack of comprehensive information has retarded lending in the past.