Experian to sell three comparison sites for $175m

Information services company Experian has agreed to sell price comparison site PriceGrabber and two additional comparison sites for $175 million, Experian said through its communications firm. The transaction is expected to close in the first half of the fiscal year.

Ybrant Digital, an Indian digital marketing solutions firm in Hyderabad, has agreed to acquire the three companies, which also include Classes USA and LowerMyBills for $100 million in cash and a $75 million loan note. On closing, Experian will use the cash proceeds to repay bank borrowings, according to an Experian release.

Experian acquired all three companies in 2005 in separate transactions for about $900 million. PriceGrabber was acquired for roughly $485 million; LowerMyBills for around $330 million and Classes USA for about $85 million.

Experian has considered the businesses “non-core” since 2008 when it decided to focus on credit information and analytics, digital marketing services and direct-to-consumer services.

It previously attempted to sell PriceGrabber in 2008, but was forced to stop due to the unfavorable funding environment during the financial crisis.

Experian also reported total group revenue of $4.5 billion, or a 16% increase, for the year ending on March 31, 2012, compared with $3.9 billion last year.

“Through the agreement to divest certain non-core activities, we have further sharpened our strategic focus on data and analytics,” Experian CEO Don Robert stated in the release.

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