Information Group sale heats up data M&A market

The disposal of a leading information group to a private equity firm has signalled a return of interest in the sector among investors. Vitruvian has paid an undisclosed sum for Callcredit Information Group, the credit reference-to-marketing solutions company, in a deal which sees former owner Skipton Building Society pocket a £40 million profit.

In disposing of a non-core asset, Skipton is stepping down from the board of CIG, which has an annual turnover of £50 million and 2008 profits of £5 million, with its place being taken by a Vitruvian partner. CIG’s management team continues under chief executive John McAndrew.

David Namaha, founding partner at Vitruvian, says: “We are delighted to be working with John and his team at this very exciting stage of their development. CIG sits right in our sweet spot as an entrepreneurial organisation, deploying smart technology and with a strong, customer-centric management team and great strategic opportunities ahead of it.”

Formed by Skipton in 2000 to create a third credit reference bureau in the UK, CIG now plans to explore new markets and geographies under its new owners. While the deal indicates confidence among investors in the value of data-led companies, it did little to stimulate the share price of competitors Experian and Equifax which remained relatively flat and well below their historical highest prices.

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