Experian to Pay $1.5 Billion for All of Brazil Unit Serasa

Experian Plc (EXPN), the world’s largest credit-checking company, agreed to pay 3.1 billion reais ($1.5 billion) to buy out the minority stake in its Brazilian business held by a group of banks, including Itau Unibanco Holding SA. (ITUB)

Experian, based in Dublin, said the purchase of the 29.6 percent holding in Serasa will boost its stake to 99.6 percent, according to a statement today. Banco Bradesco SA (BBDC4), Banco Santander SA (SAN) and HSBC Holdings Plc (HSBA) are the other sellers. Experian said it expects the deal to be completed in the fourth quarter, subject to regulatory and shareholder approval.

The acquisition will help Experian take advantage of lending growth in Brazil and the implementation rules that will establish consumer credit scores in the South American nation. Lending increased almost threefold to 2.2 trillion reais in August from 799.9 billion reais in June 2007, when Experian bought the first stake in Serasa, according to data from the central bank.

“We see significant potential for future growth in Brazil,” Don Robert, Experian’s chief executive officer, said in the statement.

Experian shares rose 3.8 percent to 1087 pence in London trading, the biggest gain for the stock since Nov. 10.

Serasa, which provides data on consumer and company credit, posted revenue of 1.48 billion reais in the three months through March, according to the statement.

Itau said today that it agreed to sell its 16.1 percent stake in Serasa to Experian for 1.7 billion reais, according to a regulatory filing. Bradesco said the deal will generate pretax profit of 786 million reais, according to another filing in Brazil.

To contact the reporter on this story: Francisco Marcelino in Sao Paulo at mdeoliveira@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: David Scheer at dscheer@bloomberg.net

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