The coming together of two leaders
Experian was created by the successful combining of the former TRW Information Systems & Services and the CCN Group in 1996 by the British conglomerate, GUS plc.
CCN was Europe’s leading information services company and had been formed in 1980 by GUS in the UK. The company had grown out of the need to provide credit checking facilities and marketing information to GUS’ own retail businesses. By 1996, CCN was not only the UK's leading credit bureau, but had expanded geographically with the development of an international office network, principally to sell and implement analytical products.
TRW operated the largest credit bureau in the US and its name had become synonymous with credit reports amongst most American consumers. The company also provided clients with a range of analytical, direct marketing and real estate information services. It was acquired by GUS in 1996.
The bringing together of these two businesses by GUS established a global leader in the market for credit reference and credit risk management services. The new combined group, Experian, could now support multinational clients across all the major credit markets, with the ability to develop common global platforms and to draw on a broad range of analytical products and expertise.
Broader capabilities, broader reach
During the next ten years, Experian strengthened its global leadership by broadening its product range, applying its information and analytical skills to new industry sectors, beyond financial services, and extending its geographic reach into the increasingly important markets of Latin America, Asia Pacific and Eastern Europe. The business was expanded through a combination of organic development and strategically important acquisitions.
The acquisition in 2002 of ConsumerInfo.com provided the foundation for Experian’s Interactive business. It established Experian as the market leader in the supply of credit reports to consumers, enabling them to monitor their credit status and reduce the risk of identity theft. In 2003, Experian acquired the outstanding stake in Scorex, a decision analytics company, firmly establishing the company’s global leadership in this marketplace. In 2004, Experian strengthened its marketing services business with two acquisitions in the fast developing field of digital marketing. These were QAS, a global leader in address management software, and CheetahMail, a leading email marketing company.
By now, Experian had offices in 28 countries and was operating more than a dozen national credit bureaux to support consumer or commercial lending.
Demerger from GUS
In 2006, Experian was judged ready by its parent, GUS, to become an independent company and on 11 October that year was successfully demerged and listed on the London Stock Exchange. The demerger was the culmination of the GUS strategy, begun in 2000, of focusing on businesses with above-average growth potential. It was to give GUS shareholders the opportunity to invest directly in the future growth potential of Experian.
Since demerger, Experian has continued to grow successfully through a combination of expansion into new geographic and vertical markets, product innovation and investment, and leveraging its global scale and common platforms to deploy products quickly into new markets.
In 2007, Experian made its most recent major acquisition by taking a controlling interest in Serasa, the world’s fourth largest credit bureau and the largest in Brazil. The acquisition gave Experian a commanding position in one of the world’s fastest growing markets, while consolidating Experian’s global leadership in credit services.
The company today
Today Experian is the leading global information services company, employing approximately 17,000 people and providing data and analytical tools to clients around the world. From its early focus on financial services and retailing, Experian now supports clients in almost every major industry, from telecommunications and healthcare to government and automotive.
Experian’s vision is for its people, data and technology to become a necessary part of every major consumer economy.
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