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Dun & Bradstreet Said to Hire Banks to Explore Sale

Dun & Bradstreet Corp., the 171-year-old company that provides credit and business data to businesses, is weighing a sale, according to a person with knowledge of the situation.

The company is working with JPMorgan Chase & Co. and Credit Suisse Group AG to seek buyers, said the person, who asked not to be named because the matter is private. The process is at an early stage and there’s no guarantee of a deal, the person said.

Dun & Bradstreet has been losing market share to competitors, including Experian Plc, Equifax Inc. and Cortera Inc., said Carter Malloy, an analyst at Stephens Capital Management in Little Rock, Arkansas. While that increases pressure to make a deal, there are no obvious acquirers, Malloy said. A private-equity buyer wouldn’t see much savings from cost cutting because the company already runs efficiently, he said.

“We don’t think a deal is very likely,” said Malloy, who has a neutral rating on the stock. “This would likely be a big commitment for any PE firm and would likely involve a multibillion-dollar check.”

Dun & Bradstreet can trace its roots back to 1841, when its predecessor, the Mercantile Agency, was founded, according to its website. The firm, based in Short Hills, New Jersey, provides credit reporting and monitoring services, operating a database with more than 210 million business records.

Roger Sachs, a spokesman for Dun & Bradstreet, didn’t return calls and e-mails seeking comment. The Wall Street Journal reported the news earlier.

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