UPDATE 1-Traffic data firm Inrix to buy UK rival, eyes IPO
* Inrix offers $60 mln for British rival ITIS Holdings
* Offers 37.48 pence per share vs last trades at 11 pence
* ITIS buy to boost Inrix annual sales by $27 million
* Looking to go public after integration
(Adds details, comments)
By Tarmo Virki, European Technology Correspondent
HELSINKI, July 28 (Reuters) - U.S.-based Inrix, the largest independent traffic data provider, will offer $60 million for British rival ITIS Holdings, and aims to go public after completing the integration.
Private equity-backed Inrix seeks to strengthen its reach and client base in competition against its bigger rivals, units of Nokia and TomTom .
The deal will triple the number of drivers connected to its network to around 30 million and lift its annual revenues by $27 million. In comparison TomTom said last week its live services had 1.1 million active users.
Inrix is offering 37.48 pence per ITIS share, compared with its last traded price of 11 pence. It said shareholders holding 78.7 percent of ITIS had already agreed to the offer.
Kirkland, Washington-based Inrix, this week raised $37 million in its Series D funding round to finance the deal. The round was led by Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers and August Capital. Its investors also include Bain Capital and Venrock.
Chief Executive Bryan Mistele, who founded Inrix in 2005, said he hoped to take the company public after closing the ITIS acquisition, likely next month, and integrating the business.
"It's our aspiration to go public rather sooner than later," Mistele said in an interview.
Last month Inrix's European head told Reuters the firm was actively working on going public in 2012.
Inrix -- which has three main revenue streams: automotive companies, the mobile industry and the public sector -- is generating cash and profits, and has been growing revenues on average 85 percent a year for the last three years.
"The market is growing very rapidly," Mistele said.
Acquisition of ITIS will boost Inrix's position in the car industry and in the telecoms sector, adding clients such as Mercedes-Benz, Nissan, Telefonica and Vodafone.