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7 February, 2006 - 14:59 By Staff Reporter

Experian shells out £100m for Luton data specialist ClarityBlue

US information analysis expert, Experian, is to pay up to £100 million for Bedfordshire-based data specialist, ClarityBlue.US information analysis expert, Experian, is to pay up to £100 million for Bedfordshire-based data specialist, ClarityBlue.

The Luton firm, which employs 165 staff over two offices, will sit within Experian’s Marketing Serv-ices division and will trade as ‘ClarityBlue, an Experian company.’

It will be bought for an initial purchase price of £85m with a performance related earn-out of up to £15m over three years and will remain under the stewardship of current chief executive, Duncan Painter. No job losses are predicted.

ClarityBlue designs, builds and operates high performance customer data environments that link complex internal and external data sources to build a rich picture of customer behaviour.

This, in turn, is used to predict and allow clients to engineer future behaviour.

It is regarded as the UK’s leading customer management consulting group and provider of bespoke marketing database solutions while Experian Marketing Services enables organisations to make key business decisions about targeting, acquiring and retaining customers.

An Experian UK spokes-person said: “This acquisition is about building a bigger and better business.

“All offices will remain where they are and that includes the staff.

“ClarityBlue’s business model will remain exactly the same and follow its strategy of growing in the UK and overseas as well.

“ClarityBlue will benefit from Experian and its Marketing and Services division. Duncan Painter will still head the ClarityBlue part of the business, reporting to Chris Savage, UK director of the Experian Marketing and Services division.”

Painter said: “As an Experian company, we are looking forward to leveraging the business’ considerable resources to accelerate the growth of ClarityBlue in the UK and overseas.

“The synergies the two businesses share and the competitive advantages we will offer clients are clear – sector-focused consulting expertise, with best-of-breed technology and processes.

“These will be utilised to develop sophisticated marketing database solutions to enable clients to predict and manage future customer behaviour.”

ClarityBlue was founded in 1999. Its marketing database solutions are used by major organisations with millions of customers who potentially make multiple transactions each day.

Clients include world leading financial services providers, entertainment companies and mobile phone operators.

These include Barclay-card, Morgan Stanley, BSkyB, O2 and Orange.

Richard Fiddis, who is managing director of Experian UK, Ireland and Northern Europe, said: “The acquisition of ClarityBlue reflects the strong strategic fit between both organisations and Experian’s strategy of investing in successful, growing companies whose market leadership adds a new dimension to the scope, scale and range of solutions we are able to offer our clients.

“Together, our marketing database proposition will provide major opportunities for future growth and add significant value to our clients’ businesses by imp-roving the financial return from their customer acquisition and retention campaigns.”

The acquisition is consistent with Experian’s global strategy of acquiring complementary businesses.

Experian is a subsidiary of GUS plc with headquarters in Nottingham and Costa Mesa, California.

The business employs 12,000 people in 31 countries and supports clients in more than 60 countries.

Annual sales are about £1.4 billion.

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