Acquisition of ClarityBlue by Experian

GUS plc, the retail and business services group, today announces that Experian has acquired ClarityBlue, a leading provider in the UK of bespoke marketing database solutions for major companies. ClarityBlue complements Experian’s existing marketing businesses which help clients to target, acquire and retain customers. The purchase price is £85m plus an earn-out of up to £15m over three years. This has been funded from GUS’ existing bank facilities.

Don Robert, Chief Executive Officer of Experian, commented:
“ClarityBlue is highly complementary to Experian’s marketing information and solutions businesses. Its addition to our existing offer will better enable us to help our clients around the world to respond more rapidly and send customers the right message, at the right time and over the right channel. We are very excited about the growth opportunities available to ClarityBlue which will be further enhanced by becoming part of Experian.”

Description of ClarityBlue

ClarityBlue designs, builds and manages marketing databases for large companies with millions of customers. These customers can undertake multiple transactions with the companies often on a daily basis and through different channels. ClarityBlue helps its clients to make better-informed decisions more quickly about how to target and acquire new customers and retain existing customers. It works for financial services providers, entertainment companies, mobile phone operators and Internet Service Providers. Its clients include Barclaycard, BSkyB, Morgan Stanley, O2 and Orange. Founded in 1999, ClarityBlue employs 165 people, primarily in the UK.

When developing marketing databases for its clients, ClarityBlue uses its own unique technology platform and analytics to integrate data and software that best meet its clients’ needs. In particular, it can link companies’ existing information on customers with external data sources to create a complete picture of customer behaviour. Its key competitive advantage is that its technology platform is very fast and flexible, speeding up decision-making and reducing the lead time for delivering marketing campaigns. This is all supported by ClarityBlue’s extensive board-level consulting expertise which helps to embed it at the heart of its clients’ marketing strategies and processes.

Rationale for acquisition

ClarityBlue has a leading position in the marketing services industry in the UK, especially in sectors such as banking and telecommunications where speed of response is critical. With sales up by 25% in the current year, ClarityBlue has further strong organic growth opportunities, selling more to existing clients and attracting new clients in a broad range of sectors including retail and telecommunications.

Experian expects to accelerate this growth. For example, ClarityBlue will be able to embed more easily Experian’s existing marketing data and solutions, such as demographic profiling, email delivery and optimisation, in its offer to clients. In addition, the ClarityBlue technology platform complements Experian’s existing offer in the US, opening up new markets such as serving mid-sized companies, many of whom are already clients of Experian for other services.

There will also be cost savings of several million pounds in areas such as data processing, data purchasing and technology.

In the year to July 2006, sales are expected to be about £30m (an increase of over 25% year-on-year) with EBIT of about £5m. This excludes any expected revenue or cost synergies.


David Tyler Group Finance Director 020 7495 0070
Fay Dodds Director of Investor Relations  
Rupert Younger   020 7251 3801
Rollo Head    

Certain statements made in this announcement are forward-looking statements. Such statements are based on current expectations and are subject to a number of risks and uncertainties that could cause actual events or results to differ materially from any expected future events or results referred to in these forward-looking statements.

About ClarityBlue

ClarityBlue, the customer intelligence specialist, designs, builds and operates high-performance customer data environments that link complex internal and external data sources to build a rich picture of customer behaviour. This is used to predict, and allows clients to manage, the future behaviour of its customers. ClarityBlue’s key competitive advantage is that it does this at speed, because of its powerful combination of strategic thinking, a configurable direct marketing platform, precision analytics and exceptional processing capability.

About Experian Marketing

ClarityBlue will form part of Experian’s Marketing Services division, a leading provider of direct marketing solutions in the UK, US and Continental Europe. The division includes companies such as QAS, a leading address management software developer, and CheetahMail, a leading provider of email marketing and web analytics solutions. The Marketing Services division provides a wide range of solutions that enable organisations to acquire and retain customers, improve the quality of customer data for marketing purposes and enhance the value of customer relationships. For more information, visit