Equifax buys Austin-Tetra

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Equifax Inc. has acquired Austin Consolidated Holdings Inc., a provider of business-to-business data management and customer data management services for Fortune 1000 companies and government agencies.

The Atlanta-based database firm bought Austin, also known as Austin-Tetra Inc., in an all-cash deal. Other terms were not disclosed. Austin-Tetra will be part of Equifax's commercial business.

"As we looked at the capabilities of Austin-Tetra, it fit right in to the solutions we are taking to the market," said Paul J. Springman, Equifax corporate vice president and chief marketing officer. "They are a provider of business-to-business data management solutions and other services, and they bring the three components of how we try to create value-added solutions to the marketplace in the commercial space: content, analytics and technology capabilities."

Austin-Tetra will maintain its Irving, TX, presence, and its founder/CEO, Phil Berkebile Jr., will stay with Equifax under a consulting arrangement during the transition. The rest of the Austin-Tetra team will join Equifax.

Equifax, which offers information solutions to businesses and consumers, said Austin-Tetra would be a key part of its strategy to increase its commercial business, aided by an expanded suite of commercial solutions.

The cornerstone of Austin-Tetra's offerings is the A-T Number, a unique nine-digit identifier for individual business entities such as parent companies, subsidiaries, headquarters and branches. Using its technology and data match verification process, Austin-Tetra links data records to build corporate family structures for enterprise-wide visibility of customers and suppliers.

Austin-Tetra uses a proprietary database of 30 million global businesses, with information aggregated from 300 information sources.

"Equifax allows us to increase our velocity in terms of growth," said Mike Zier, Austin-Tetra chief operating officer. "As a small company, we are oftentimes capital constrained, and obviously a large company with extensive capital allows us to expand much more rapidly in the marketplace."

In addition, Equifax is a content company, "and they make our content richer and more robust," he said.

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