Experian buys credit checking start-up ClearScore for $385m

Experian is to acquire ClearScore, a two year-old UK firm that offers free credit checks for consumers and has over 6 million customers. It comes with a price tag of £275 million ($385 million), with an additional earnout potential.

The deal is subject to approval from the UK’s Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) and the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). On completion, ClearScore will be included within UK Consumer Services.

Experian anticipates a one-off integration expense of $20 million “to integrate the business and realise the planned synergies”.

For calendar year 2018, ClearScore is on track to generate revenue of around $55 million, an increase of 50% on 2017.

“The acquisition of ClearScore will combine two well-known, high growth UK consumer brands, both of which will be retained,” states Brian Cassin, CEO of Experian.

“It will also bring together two businesses with complementary assets and skills to improve outcomes for consumers. We expect ClearScore to benefit from Experian’s broad data assets, analytical capabilities and distribution, while Experian will benefit from ClearScore’s skill in developing services which are appealing and easy to use, as well as an agile culture accomplished at keeping its membership engaged.

“In addition, ClearScore will help to accelerate our ambitions to provide services to consumers internationally, having recently launched a service in South Africa.”

ClearScore backers are London-based venture builder Blenheim Chalcot and venture capital firm QED Investors (set up by CapitalOne’s co-founder, Nigel Morris).