19 April 2007. On the heals of the Google Doubleclick acquisition, Experian, the UK headquartered global information solutions company, announced that it has acquired Hitwise, a leading Internet marketing intelligence company, which helps clients monitor the performance of their websites and target their online advertising spend more effectively. The purchase price is approximately US$240m and will be funded from Experian’s existing cash resources. The transaction is subject to regulatory approval.
Founded in 1998, Hitwise collects and aggregates information from Internet Service Providers (ISPs) on how over 25 million consumers use and search the Internet in the US, UK, Australia and other countries in Asia Pacific. Using proprietary technology, Hitwise reports on nearly a million websites each day and sells this information to companies who market their services online. The data allows companies to benchmark their websites against competitors in terms of visitor market share, visitor profiles and time spent on sites. It also helps companies to determine which are the best websites on which to advertise, which search engines drive traffic to their sites and which key words are most effective.
Hitwise is understood to have appointed Deutsche Bank to assist in a sale of the business late last year.
Hitwise strengthens Experian’s position in market research by bringing new, unique data to Experian on how consumers behave online, to complement our existing knowledge of how they behave offline. Hitwise’s services are also complementary to other Experian products. For example, Hitwise will leverage the sales and distribution network of CheetahMail, our email delivery and analytics company.
Those pocketing the cash are believed to include founders Andrew Barlow & Adrian Giles (US$36m between them), VC’s Allen & Buckeridge (US$67m) and US VC Insight (US$55m).
Hitwise has over 200 employees based mainly in Melbourne, New York and London. The acquisition is expected to close in May 2007.