UK's Experian to buy Africa's Compuscan

(Reuters) - Credit check firm Experian Plc EXPN.L has agreed to buy South African peer Compuscan for $262.78 million, bulking up its existing African operations and giving it a foothold in a handful of other states, Experian said in a statement on Monday.

Britain's competition watchdog last month indicated it may block Experian's EXPN.L takeover of rival ClearScore due to concerns that the deal could stifle development of digital products that help customers understand personal finances.

Compuscan, founded in 1994, holds credit information of 200,000 South African businesses and 26 million individuals, about 56 percent of South Africa’s population.

“This is an important transaction for our business in South Africa and will provide opportunities more broadly across the African continent,” Experian Chief Executive Officer Brian Cassin said.

The deal, which will be funded using existing cash, will add to benchmark earnings per share in the first full year of owning Compuscan, Experian said.

Reporting by Sangameswaran S in Bengaluru