The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has found that Experian’s (LON:EXPN) proposed takeover of rival ClearScore could substantially reduce competition, the watchdog said as it published its provisional findings. The news comes after the blue-chip credit checking company recently updated investors on its half-year performance, flagging organic revenue growth at the top end of its guidance range.
Experian’s share price has been steady in London this morning, having climbed 0.35 percent to 1,874.00p as of 09:22 GMT. The stock is outperforming the broader UK market, with the benchmark FTSE 100 index currently standing 0.04 percent lower at 7,014.35 points. The group’s shares have added more than 17 percent to their value over the past year, as compared with about a six-percent fall in the Footsie.
CMA updates on ClearScore deal
CMA announced today that it had provisionally found that Experian’s proposed acquisition of ClearScore may be expected to result in a substantial lessening of competition within the supply of credit comparison platforms for loans and credit cards, and the supply of credit checking tools in the UK. Today’s findings come ahead of the watchdog’s final decision with a deadline of March 11.
The FTSE 100 group said in a short statement that it was ‘disappointed’ by the provisional findings and that it will “continue to engage constructively with the CMA over the weeks ahead to seek to address its concerns” ahead of the publication of the watchdog’s final report.
Analysts on FTSE 100 company
As of November 24, the consensus forecast amongst 16 polled investment analysts covering Experian for the Financial Times has it that the company will outperform the market. According to MarketBeat, the blue-chip group currently has a consensus ‘buy’ rating and an average price target of 1,891p.