EXCLUSIVE S&P's $44 bln IHS deal set to win EU antitrust approval, sources say

The S&P Global logo is displayed on its offices in the financial district in New York City
The S&P Global logo is displayed on its offices in the financial district in New York City, U.S., December 13, 2018. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid

BRUSSELS, Oct 12 (Reuters) - Business information provider S&P Global Inc (SPGI.N) is set to secure EU antitrust approval for its $44 billion takeover of IHS Markit Ltd (INFO.N), three people familiar with the matter said, taking it a step closer to becoming a data powerhouse.

The deal, announced last November, reflects the consolidation in the financial information services sector as companies race to create one-stop shops to lure the biggest clients and invest in artificial intelligence and machine learning.

S&P shares reversed earlier losses and were up 1% in early mid-trade after publication of Reuters' report on the approval, while IHS shares added gains to trade 1.3% higher.

S&P managed to address the European Commission's concerns with its offer to sell IHS' U.S. Oil Pricing Agency Oil Price Information Service (OPIS) and PetroChem Wire businesses, the people said.

It struck the $1.15 billion deal with News Corp (NWSA.O) in August, subject to the closing of the IHS Markit acquisition. read more

The EU competition enforcer, which is scheduled to end its preliminary review of the IHS deal by Oct. 22, declined to comment. S&P Global and IHS declined to comment.

S&P Global ranks a distant third by annual revenue behind Bloomberg and Refinitiv, based data from on market research firm Burton-Taylor. While the acquisition of IHS Markit, the No. 8 player, would not change that ranking, it would accelerate S&P Global's growth.

The deal will combine S&P Global's credit ratings, market intelligence businesses and stock and energy benchmarks with IHS Markit's fixed income benchmarks and indices, bond pricing and reference data, and information on the natural resources, automotive and engineering sectors.

It will enable the distribution of IHS Markit products and services to S&P Global's 1 million desktop users.

The UK competition agency is also investigating the deal and will decide by Oct. 19.

Thomson Reuters, parent of Reuters News, competes with Platts, Argus and OPIS in providing news and information to the oil markets.

Reporting by Foo Yun Chee, additional reporting by Niket Nishant and Anirban Sen in Bangalore; editing by Edmund Blair, Jason Neely and Jane Merriman

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