Experian Acquires PriceGrabber.com

Acquisition Further Strengthens Experian's Leadership Position as a Trusted

Source for Consumers of Information About Key Financial Transactions and

Purchasing Decisions to Lower the Cost of Daily Living



Dec 14, 2005, 00:00 ET from Experian

    COSTA MESA, Calif., Dec. 14 /PRNewswire/ -- Experian(R) today announced
 the acquisition of PriceGrabber.com, a leading provider of online comparison
 shopping services. PriceGrabber.com will become part of Experian
 InteractiveSM, a group of Internet marketing businesses that includes
 LowerMyBills.com(R), MetaRewardSM, Affiliate Fuel, ClassesUSA.com(R) and
 Experian Consumer Direct.
     The acquisition further strengthens the company's leadership position in
 online customer acquisition and extends its capabilities as a trusted source
 for consumers of the critical information needed to make decisions about key
 life events and purchases to lower the cost of daily living. In addition,
 PriceGrabber.com will further extend the range of marketing solutions provided
 by Experian to multichannel retailers and catalogers.
     Millions of consumers access the PriceGrabber.com Web site to quickly
 obtain free and unbiased information about products, services, merchants and
 sellers before making a purchase decision. Its database contains millions of
 products in more than 20 categories, such as consumer electronics, clothing,
 photography, computers, office products, software, toys, home and garden, and
 video games. Consumers are able to quickly find and select the retailer that
 provides the most attractive offer.
     "We are very excited about the future growth prospects of combining
 PriceGrabber.com with Experian's Interactive and Marketing businesses," said
 Don Robert, chief executive officer of Experian Group. "The combined skills,
 expertise, and scale of Experian allow us to provide superior product
 offerings to consumers and clients."
     PriceGrabber.com connects its online shoppers to more than 9,000 merchants
 ranging from large traditional merchants to smaller local sellers. The company
 also powers comparison shopping on more than 300 Web sites, including Ask
 Jeeves, MSN, Comcast, Bell South and About.com. In November 2005,
 PriceGrabber.com provided comparison shopping services to more than 17 million
 unique visitors.
     The acquisition is consistent with Experian's global strategy of acquiring
 complementary businesses that provide new products, new data or entry into new
 vertical or regional markets while leveraging the core assets of Experian. The
 purchase price was $485 million plus expenses and was funded from Experian
 parent company GUS plc's existing bank facilities.
     "We are very pleased to welcome the talented people of PriceGrabber.com
 and their clients to the Experian family," said Ed Ojdana, group president of
 Experian Interactive. "As a trusted and preferred comparison shopping
 destination, PriceGrabber.com adds additional capabilities for us to provide
 the best solutions to meet consumers' needs. Whether consumers are looking to
 better manage their credit, apply for a mortgage or make informed purchasing
 decisions, we provide the destinations to help them with those decisions while
 saving time and money."
 
     "Joining Experian will enable PriceGrabber.com to expand into new
 verticals and will strengthen our current offerings to consumers," said Kamran
 Pourzanjani, president of PriceGrabber.com. "We are delighted to join the
 exceptional team of people at Experian and look forward to working together to
 further our leadership in the comparison shopping market arena."
     All employees and management for PriceGrabber.com will be retained.
 PriceGrabber.com was founded in 1999 and employs 140 people. Headquartered in
 Los Angeles, Calif., the company also has offices in London.
 
     Financial highlights
     The acquisition of PriceGrabber.com further strengthens Experian's
 position in connecting consumers to companies over the Internet. In the six
 months to Sept. 30, 2005, Experian Interactive contributed about one-third of
 sales in Experian Americas and grew by nearly 40 percent, excluding
 acquisitions. Experian believes that it can enhance the competitive position
 of PriceGrabber.com by sharing scale and expertise in Internet marketing, by
 using Experian's data and analytics to improve the services offered to
 consumers and by providing its retail clients with another channel to sell to
 consumers. For the 12 months to December 2005, PriceGrabber.com estimates that
 sales will be $60 million and EBIT $25 million, representing an increase of
 about 50 percent over the previous year.
     PriceGrabber.com operates in high-growth markets. The comparison shopping
 services market in the United States was worth about $400 million in 2004,
 with market projections for growth of around 40 percent per annum over the
 next five years. This growth reflects increasing use of the Internet by
 consumers to research and acquire goods and services, driven in part by
 greater broadband penetration. The use of comparison shopping services by
 online shoppers also is growing as consumers benefit from the value these
 sites deliver. To reach these shoppers, companies are advertising more online,
 especially as the return on investment from online advertising is often
 superior to that from traditional channels.
     PriceGrabber.com has strong organic growth opportunities. As well as
 benefiting from the natural growth in its established markets,
 PriceGrabber.com is expanding its presence in new vertical markets such as
 auto, travel and wireless. It also has significant international development
 opportunities, as illustrated by its nascent operations in the United Kingdom
 and Canada.
     PriceGrabber.com complements Experian's Marketing Solutions. Retail and
 catalog shopping is the second-largest vertical market for Experian globally.
 Excluding Experian Interactive, it accounts for about 17 percent of Experian
 Americas' sales. The acquisition of PriceGrabber.com will strengthen
 Experian's presence in this important sector by giving its retail and catalog
 clients another channel to market, complementing the current multichannel
 offer (direct mail, e-mail via CheetahMail(R) and online lead generation via
 MetaReward).
     There are further synergies available from combining Experian and
 PriceGrabber.com, especially as the latter can benefit from Experian's
 substantial Internet marketing expertise and scale. These include the ability
 to generate more traffic at low cost by encouraging consumers to visit other
 Experian Interactive Web sites (Experian Consumer Direct, LowerMyBills.com,
 MetaReward, ClassesUSA.com and Affiliate Fuel). PriceGrabber.com also expects
 to be able to improve the quality of leads referred to retailers' Web sites by
 adding Experian data and analytics where appropriate.
 
     About Experian
     Experian is the global leader in providing value-added information
 solutions to organizations and consumers. It has an unrivaled understanding of
 individuals, markets and economies around the world. Experian provides
 information, analytics, decision-making solutions and processing services. It
 assists organizations in understanding their markets and customers and helps
 them find, develop and manage profitable customer relationships to make their
 businesses more profitable. Experian promotes greater financial health among
 consumers by enabling them to understand, manage and protect their personal
 information and helping them control financial aspects of key life events.
 Experian works with more than 50,000 clients across diverse industries,
 including financial services, telecommunications, health care, insurance,
 retail and catalog, automotive, manufacturing, leisure, utilities, e-commerce,
 property and government. A subsidiary of GUS plc with headquarters in
 Nottingham, UK, and Costa Mesa, Calif., Experian's 12,000 people in 28
 countries support clients in more than 60 countries. Annual sales exceed $2.5
 billion. For more information, visit the company's Web site at
 http://www.experian.com .
 
     The word "Experian" is a registered trademark in the United States and is
 owned by Experian Information Solutions, Inc.
 
     Contact:  Heather Greer
               Experian
               714 830 7756
               heather.greer@experian.com
 
 

SOURCE Experian
    COSTA MESA, Calif., Dec. 14 /PRNewswire/ -- Experian(R) today announced
 the acquisition of PriceGrabber.com, a leading provider of online comparison
 shopping services. PriceGrabber.com will become part of Experian
 InteractiveSM, a group of Internet marketing businesses that includes
 LowerMyBills.com(R), MetaRewardSM, Affiliate Fuel, ClassesUSA.com(R) and
 Experian Consumer Direct.
     The acquisition further strengthens the company's leadership position in
 online customer acquisition and extends its capabilities as a trusted source
 for consumers of the critical information needed to make decisions about key
 life events and purchases to lower the cost of daily living. In addition,
 PriceGrabber.com will further extend the range of marketing solutions provided
 by Experian to multichannel retailers and catalogers.
     Millions of consumers access the PriceGrabber.com Web site to quickly
 obtain free and unbiased information about products, services, merchants and
 sellers before making a purchase decision. Its database contains millions of
 products in more than 20 categories, such as consumer electronics, clothing,
 photography, computers, office products, software, toys, home and garden, and
 video games. Consumers are able to quickly find and select the retailer that
 provides the most attractive offer.
     "We are very excited about the future growth prospects of combining
 PriceGrabber.com with Experian's Interactive and Marketing businesses," said
 Don Robert, chief executive officer of Experian Group. "The combined skills,
 expertise, and scale of Experian allow us to provide superior product
 offerings to consumers and clients."
     PriceGrabber.com connects its online shoppers to more than 9,000 merchants
 ranging from large traditional merchants to smaller local sellers. The company
 also powers comparison shopping on more than 300 Web sites, including Ask
 Jeeves, MSN, Comcast, Bell South and About.com. In November 2005,
 PriceGrabber.com provided comparison shopping services to more than 17 million
 unique visitors.
     The acquisition is consistent with Experian's global strategy of acquiring
 complementary businesses that provide new products, new data or entry into new
 vertical or regional markets while leveraging the core assets of Experian. The
 purchase price was $485 million plus expenses and was funded from Experian
 parent company GUS plc's existing bank facilities.
     "We are very pleased to welcome the talented people of PriceGrabber.com
 and their clients to the Experian family," said Ed Ojdana, group president of
 Experian Interactive. "As a trusted and preferred comparison shopping
 destination, PriceGrabber.com adds additional capabilities for us to provide
 the best solutions to meet consumers' needs. Whether consumers are looking to
 better manage their credit, apply for a mortgage or make informed purchasing
 decisions, we provide the destinations to help them with those decisions while
 saving time and money."
 
     "Joining Experian will enable PriceGrabber.com to expand into new
 verticals and will strengthen our current offerings to consumers," said Kamran
 Pourzanjani, president of PriceGrabber.com. "We are delighted to join the
 exceptional team of people at Experian and look forward to working together to
 further our leadership in the comparison shopping market arena."
     All employees and management for PriceGrabber.com will be retained.
 PriceGrabber.com was founded in 1999 and employs 140 people. Headquartered in
 Los Angeles, Calif., the company also has offices in London.
 
     Financial highlights
     The acquisition of PriceGrabber.com further strengthens Experian's
 position in connecting consumers to companies over the Internet. In the six
 months to Sept. 30, 2005, Experian Interactive contributed about one-third of
 sales in Experian Americas and grew by nearly 40 percent, excluding
 acquisitions. Experian believes that it can enhance the competitive position
 of PriceGrabber.com by sharing scale and expertise in Internet marketing, by
 using Experian's data and analytics to improve the services offered to
 consumers and by providing its retail clients with another channel to sell to
 consumers. For the 12 months to December 2005, PriceGrabber.com estimates that
 sales will be $60 million and EBIT $25 million, representing an increase of
 about 50 percent over the previous year.
     PriceGrabber.com operates in high-growth markets. The comparison shopping
 services market in the United States was worth about $400 million in 2004,
 with market projections for growth of around 40 percent per annum over the
 next five years. This growth reflects increasing use of the Internet by
 consumers to research and acquire goods and services, driven in part by
 greater broadband penetration. The use of comparison shopping services by
 online shoppers also is growing as consumers benefit from the value these
 sites deliver. To reach these shoppers, companies are advertising more online,
 especially as the return on investment from online advertising is often
 superior to that from traditional channels.
     PriceGrabber.com has strong organic growth opportunities. As well as
 benefiting from the natural growth in its established markets,
 PriceGrabber.com is expanding its presence in new vertical markets such as
 auto, travel and wireless. It also has significant international development
 opportunities, as illustrated by its nascent operations in the United Kingdom
 and Canada.
     PriceGrabber.com complements Experian's Marketing Solutions. Retail and
 catalog shopping is the second-largest vertical market for Experian globally.
 Excluding Experian Interactive, it accounts for about 17 percent of Experian
 Americas' sales. The acquisition of PriceGrabber.com will strengthen
 Experian's presence in this important sector by giving its retail and catalog
 clients another channel to market, complementing the current multichannel
 offer (direct mail, e-mail via CheetahMail(R) and online lead generation via
 MetaReward).
     There are further synergies available from combining Experian and
 PriceGrabber.com, especially as the latter can benefit from Experian's
 substantial Internet marketing expertise and scale. These include the ability
 to generate more traffic at low cost by encouraging consumers to visit other
 Experian Interactive Web sites (Experian Consumer Direct, LowerMyBills.com,
 MetaReward, ClassesUSA.com and Affiliate Fuel). PriceGrabber.com also expects
 to be able to improve the quality of leads referred to retailers' Web sites by
 adding Experian data and analytics where appropriate.
 
     About Experian
     Experian is the global leader in providing value-added information
 solutions to organizations and consumers. It has an unrivaled understanding of
 individuals, markets and economies around the world. Experian provides
 information, analytics, decision-making solutions and processing services. It
 assists organizations in understanding their markets and customers and helps
 them find, develop and manage profitable customer relationships to make their
 businesses more profitable. Experian promotes greater financial health among
 consumers by enabling them to understand, manage and protect their personal
 information and helping them control financial aspects of key life events.
 Experian works with more than 50,000 clients across diverse industries,
 including financial services, telecommunications, health care, insurance,
 retail and catalog, automotive, manufacturing, leisure, utilities, e-commerce,
 property and government. A subsidiary of GUS plc with headquarters in
 Nottingham, UK, and Costa Mesa, Calif., Experian's 12,000 people in 28
 countries support clients in more than 60 countries. Annual sales exceed $2.5
 billion. For more information, visit the company's Web site at
 http://www.experian.com .
 
     The word "Experian" is a registered trademark in the United States and is
 owned by Experian Information Solutions, Inc.
 
     Contact:  Heather Greer
               Experian
               714 830 7756
               heather.greer@experian.com
 
 SOURCE  Experian