American financial information and analytics S&P Global announced Monday that it has agreed to buy London-based information services firm IHS Markit in a $44 billion merger deal.
The companies said the merger, which could be the largest merger of 2020, has been unanimously approved by both of their Boards of Directors, and it is expected to close in the second half of 2021.
After the completion of the deal, current S&P Global shareholders will own 67.75% of the combined company, while IHS Markit shareholders will own approximately 32.25%, it added.
S&P Global is also the majority owner of the S&P 500 and Dow Jones indices on the New York Stock Exchange. The merger could create a financial information giant, and thus it has the potential of raising eyebrows from regulatory authorities due to antitrust concerns.
IHS Markit had a market value of around $36.9 billion as of Monday, while S&P Global had a market valuation of approximately $82.2 billion.
"This transaction is a win for both IHS Markit and S&P Global as we leverage our respective strengths in information, data science, research and benchmarks," IHS Markit Chairman and CEO Lance Uggla said in the statement.
S&P Global President and CEO Douglas Peterson noted "This merger increases scale while rounding out our combined capabilities, and accelerates and amplifies our ability to deliver customers the essential intelligence needed to make decisions with conviction."
Global mergers and acquisitions climbed to a record high level of more than $1 trillion in July-September period of 2020, as COVID-19 has forced many businesses to close and going bankrupt, but mergers were formed in healthcare and technology industries.