News Corp to acquire oil digital data and analytics provider, OPIS for A$1.55bn

News Corp has announced an agreement to purchase the Oil Price Information Service (OPIS) for a price of $US1.15 billion (A$1.55 billion).

The digital data, analytics and insights provider will become part of News Corp’s Dow Jones Professional Information Business (PIB), which includes Dow Jones Risk & Compliance, Dow Jones Newswires and Factiva.

The Maryland, US headquartered company is being acquired from S&P Global and IHS Markit, with the purchase following the announcement in April that News Corp would be upsizing its private offering, at the time hinting at M&As, and working capital.

The acquisition is to be completed in a cash transaction, subject to customary adjustments, with News Corp also expecting an “estimated tax benefit of US$180 million (A$224 million) as part of the transaction”.

On the move, News Corp chief executive, Robert Thomson, said: “OPIS will be the cornerstone for a rising commodities, energy and renewables digital business that we are convinced will have a positive impact on Dow Jones and News Corp.”

“We certainly believe OPIS and Dow Jones will be more than the sum of their valuable parts. Dow Jones is ideally positioned to accelerate growth at OPIS, while OPIS will be a powerful pillar, alongside Risk & Compliance, in the fast-growing Dow Jones Professional Information Business.”

News Corp also said that OPIS is the “global industry standard for benchmark and referencing pricing, news and analytics for the oil, natural gas, liquids, and biofuels industries”, and is a growing provider of insights and analytics in renewables and carbon pricing.

The group added that Dow Jones is now “poised to leverage the global transition to renewables and the growth opportunities resulting from emerging energy categories like hydrogen, carbon credits, biofuels, LNG, solar, water and electric vehicles”.

CEO of Dow Jones, Almar Latour said: “Dow Jones and OPIS together can be a leading provider of energy and renewable information, combining trusted news, data, analytics, events and an interconnected professional community.

“OPIS’s expertise in commodities, energy and renewables aligns with Dow Jones’ focus on building deeper specialisation in specific verticals around valuable content. OPIS is expected to accelerate PIB’s growth by adding a highly profitable, growing business that can expand even faster as part of Dow Jones.”

The acquisition is subject to customary closing conditions, including regulatory approvals and the consummation of the S&P Global and Markit merger, set to be completed later this year.

In February, News Corp released its results for the final quarter of 2020, which was reported as its strongest since 2013, when new News Corp was established. It will News Corp will report its full year 2021 results on Thursday 5 August.

News Corp’s new regional TV news channel in Australia, Sky News Regional also launched over the weekend.


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