News Corp to Acquire Base Chemicals

News Corp announced today that it has entered into an agreement to acquire the Base Chemicals business from S&P Global and IHS Markit.

Base Chemicals will become part of Dow Jones’ Professional Information Business, alongside OPIS, the energy and renewables data and information business. The OPIS acquisition (along with related assets), also from S&P Global and IHS Markit, was announced in August. The addition of Base Chemicals and OPIS will further enhance Dow Jones’ information services business.

Base Chemicals is known for its pricing data, insights, analysis and forecasting capabilities for the world’s most important base chemicals delivered through its leading Market Advisory and World Analysis services. Base Chemicals has a strong track record of growth, with a revenue base that is nearly 100% digital and recurring, and, similar to OPIS, has high margins with modest Capex requirements.

By becoming part of Dow Jones, it is expected Base Chemicals will benefit from Dow Jones’ expertise in news, research and events. Similarly, Base Chemicals’ rich analysis and forecasting capabilities provide opportunities for Dow Jones to enhance its data, price and news solutions. Base Chemicals is also a companion to OPIS, with significant customer overlap, and it is expected this new vertical will be led by the same management team responsible for OPIS and Base Chemicals today.

News Corp is acquiring Base Chemicals for $295 million in a cash transaction, subject to customary adjustments. The agreement was reached following the UK Competition and Markets Authority request that IHS Markit divest Base Chemicals as part of the S&P Global and IHS Markit merger plans. News Corp’s acquisition of Base Chemicals is subject to customary closing conditions, including regulatory approvals and the completion of the S&P Global and IHS Markit merger. In addition, News Corp expects to receive a step up in tax basis resulting in an annual deduction over the next 15 years with an estimated tax benefit of approximately $46 million on a present value basis.

Base Chemicals has a consistent history of growth and a broad geographical footprint, given the continuing global demand for base chemical pricing, analysis and forecasting. In addition, News Corp believes Base Chemicals has significant growth potential, particularly as demand changes and new products emerge as the world transitions to renewable energy sources in the years ahead.
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