IHS Inc. (NYSE: IHS), owner of Carfax, is buying Carproof Corp., a supplier of vehicle data, for $460 million.
Carproof, headquartered in London, Ontario, provides car history reports to dealers, auto auctions, original equipment manufacturers, lenders, insurers, governments, law enforcement agencies and consumers. The company was founded in 2000.
IHS CEO Jerre Stead says that combining Carproof with Carfax, which provides vehicle history reports for U.S. buyers and sellers, will allow the company to accelerate its product development.
IHS, which also publishes Jane's Defence Weekly, has been in acquisition mode for several years. The Englewood, Colorado-based company acquired R.L. Polk & Co., the owner of Carfax, in 2013. In 2014, IHS made several purchases, including: Rootmetrics, which analyzes the performance of wireless providers; JOC Group Inc., which provides import and export trade information; Display Search, which conducts research of Asia-based screen display technologies; and Solarbuzz, which provides research on the solar industry.
Automobiles are selling well. In the U.S., new light-vehicle sales—cars and light trucks-- are expected to reach 17.5 million in 2015, which would be a record, according to J.D. Power and LMC Automotive. On a year-over-year basis, global sales of both passenger car and all vehicles have increased over the last three years, according to the International Organization of Motor Vehicle Manufacturers, known as OICA.
Rising auto sales globally have helped drive M&A in related businesses, such as car parts. Earlier in December, LKQ Corp. (Nasdaq: LKQ) announced it is acquiring Rhiag-Inter Auto Parts Italia SpA, a European auto parts distributor, from Apax Partners. In August, LKQ completed the acquisition of Coast Distribution System Inc. (NYSE: CRV) parts distributor. Also in 2015, ITT Corp. (NYSE: ITT) completed the purchase of auto brakes maker Wolverine Automotive Holdings Inc.; LECS Tuning LLC acquired online parts seller Turner Motorsport LLC; and Sentinel Capital Partners acquired auto parts distributor Driven Performance Brands from Dubin Clark & Co.