Financial information provider Dun & Bradstreet Corp. (DNB: Quote) is considering a possible sale of the company, according to a Wall Street Journal report on Tuesday. It is said to be exploring a sale with the help of bankers J.P. Morgan Chase (JPM: Quote) and Credit Suisse Group (CS: Quote).
Following the news, trading in the company's stock was halted on the NYSE after it had already surged $9.49 or 13.42% to $80.19.
D&B is the world's leading source of commercial information and insight on businesses, containing more than 195 million business records, which customers rely on to make critical business decisions. The company generates revenues from subscriptions and licensing agreements.
The Short Hills, New Jersey-based company is reportedly expected to be taken private as private equity firms are eying it. The company has a market value of about $3.4 billion as of Monday's closing price.
The company has in the past year also looked for a sale, but shelved the plan after interest for the company was limited.
The company reported in early May a profit for the first quarter that increased from last year on lower income tax provisions, but missed analysts' expectations. Net income grew to $63.4 million or $1.32 per share from $49.8 million or $1.00 per share last year. Meanwhile, Quarterly revenues dropped to $402.8 million from $403.6 million last year.
In March, the company temporarily suspended its Shanghai Roadway D&B Marketing Services Co Ltd. operations in China, pending an investigation into allegations that its data collection practices may violate local Chinese consumer data privacy laws.
A 171-year old company, D&B has undergone a period of restructuring in recent years, designed to make D&B a smaller, more tightly focused company. The company's current subsidiaries include Hoover's and AllBusiness.com.
The company has already spun-off A.C. Nielsen, Cognizant, Reuben H. Donnelley and Moody's Corp. (MCO) in the 1990's to allow each company to pursue focused strategies for its specific business.
In October 2000, D&B launched an ambitious new plan called the Blueprint for Growth, a strategy designed to transform itself into a growth company with an important presence on the Web.
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by RTT Staff Writer
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