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Welcome to Robot Land: S&P Global to Acquire Kensho

S&P Global to Acquire Kensho; Bolsters Core Capabilities in Artificial Intelligence, Natural Language Processing and Data Analytics.  Acquisition will deliver Value and Efficiency to S&P Global Clients

S&P Global (NYSE: SPGI) announced that it has signed an agreement to acquire Kensho Technologies Inc. (“Kensho”), a leading edge provider of next-generation analytics, artificial intelligence, machine learning, and data visualization systems to Wall Street’s premier global banks and investment institutions, as well as the National Security community.

The acquisition of Kensho will strengthen S&P Global’s emerging technology capabilities, enhance its ability to deliver essential, actionable insights that will transform the user experience for its clients, and accelerate efforts to improve efficiency and effectiveness of its core internal operations.

The transaction is subject to regulatory approval and other customary closing conditions. It is expected to close late in the first quarter of this year or early second quarter.

A technology company founded in Harvard Square in 2013 by Dr. Daniel Nadler, a Harvard PhD, Kensho is a leading provider of next-generation machine learning and analytics to the world’s premier financial institutions as well as the National Security community. Its mission is to develop and deploy scalable artificial intelligence systems across the most critical commercial and government institutions in the world to solve some of the hardest analytical problems of our time.

A winner of multiple awards since its founding, Kensho has been named a “Technology Pioneer” by the World Economic Forum and honored as one of the most innovative technology companies—of any kind—in the world.

Kensho will continue to operate independently in Cambridge, Massachusetts and remain a distinct brand.

“We are thrilled that Kensho will become part of S&P Global as its new class of analytical tools will help us accelerate transformation across our entire company,” says Douglas Peterson, S&P Global President and CEO. “In just a short amount of time, Kensho’s intuitive platforms, sophisticated algorithms, and machine learning capabilities have established a wide following throughout Wall Street and the technology world. Via this acquisition, S&P Global is demonstrating a strong commitment to not just participating in the fintech evolution, but leading it.” [Editorial comment:  Peterson closed the conference call of today with the comment: “We just really getting started”]

“The additional resources of S&P Global, one of the world’s cornerstone data companies, will accelerate Kensho’s research and development of advanced artificial intelligence technologies for both Wall Street and the National Security mission. Kensho has assembled one of the most elite artificial intelligence teams in the world, drawing from the scientific community’s leading global research universities,” says Dr. Daniel Nadler, Founder and CEO of Kensho. “Combining our unique and industry-leading expertise in machine learning with S&P Global’s deep data sets, global-scale analytics platforms, essential benchmarks, illustrious reputation, and strong leadership team will allow Kensho to expand and innovate faster, further and in new ways. Lastly, this deal values Kensho at a premium to its most recent funding round.”

Dr. Nadler will report to Ewout Steenbergen, Chief Financial Officer at S&P Global, given Mr. Steenbergen’s enterprise-wide responsibility for Strategy and Digital Infrastructure.

“Today’s announcement is an important step forward for our Company as we strongly believe that new technologies like artificial intelligence and natural language processing will revolutionize our industry in the future,” says Ewout Steenbergen, Chief Financial Officer at S&P Global. “Kensho’s capabilities are critical for S&P Global to be at the forefront of the technology transformation taking place within the financial markets and it will accelerate multiple commercial and efficiency opportunities. S&P Global’s strategy is focused on strengthening our technology capabilities across the enterprise.”

In 2017, S&P Global launched a Fintech Venture Investment program and successfully invested in several fintech companies including Algomi – a London-based fintech company, Ursa Space Systems – an alternative data technology company, and Kensho. In February of this year, S&P Global announced its intention to acquire Panjiva, a fintech company that leverages unique technology capabilities to drive insight from a large, unstructured dataset covering the global supply chain.

Key Terms
S&P Global will acquire Kensho for approximately $550m, net of cash acquired, for a mix of cash and stock.

As a result of this acquisition, S&P Global is reducing its 2018 GAAP diluted EPS guidance by approximately twenty centsto a range of $7.95 – $8.10 and we are not changing our 2018 adjusted diluted EPS guidance of $8.45 to $8.60. Adjusted diluted EPS excludes amortization of intangibles related to the acquisition, post-acquisition compensation for replacement equity awards and retention plans, and anticipated integration costs. A reconciliation of this non-GAAP financial measure to the comparable financial measure calculated in accordance with GAAP is provided on Exhibit 1.

About S&P Global
S&P Global is a leading provider of transparent and independent ratings, benchmarks, analytics and data to the capital and commodity markets worldwide. The Company’s divisions include S&P Global Ratings, S&P Global Market Intelligence, S&P Dow Jones Indices and S&P Global Platts. S&P Global has approximately 20,000 employees in 31 countries. For more information visit: www.spglobal.com.

About Kensho Technologies Inc.
Kensho is an award-winning machine intelligence company founded out of Harvard University in 2013. Kensho’s early team members came from veteran roles at Google, as well as from academia. Kensho applies AI for real-world impact across government and commercial institutions around the world. For more information, visit www.kensho.com.

Source:  S&P Global Press Release

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