McGraw-Hill Cos. (MHP:US) has emerged as one of the final bidders for oil and gas researcher Wood Mackenzie, with an offer that may value the firm at about 1.1 billion pounds ($1.7 billion), said people familiar with the matter.
European private equity firm Charterhouse Capital Partners LLP began exploring a sale of the business in March, said these people, who declined to be named because the process is private. Media and information companies such as Bloomberg LP, IHS Inc. (IHS:US) and Thomson Reuters Corp. (TRI) also looked at buying the company, one of these people said.
McGraw-Hill sees Wood Mackenzie as a fit for its Platts business, which provides news and data about the energy industry, the person said. First-round indicative offers were made in recent weeks and McGraw-Hill is likely to be the only remaining party as final bids come in, the person said. No deal has been completed and a transaction may still fall through, the person said.
Charterhouse acquired Wood Mackenzie in 2009 for 520 million pounds, according to the firm’s website. Edinburgh-based Wood Mackenzie has more than 600 employees in over 20 offices across Europe, North America, South America and Asia, providing research and consulting services in the energy, metals and mining industries, the website shows.
McGraw-Hill declined to comment, according to Patti Rockenwagner, a spokeswoman for the New York-based company. Charterhouse and IHS didn’t return calls seeking comment, while a spokesman for Thomson Reuters declined to comment.
A spokesman for Bloomberg declined to comment. Bloomberg LP, the parent of Bloomberg News, competes with Thomson Reuters and McGraw-Hill in providing financial news and information.
McGraw-Hill dropped 0.6 percent to $43.52 at the close in New York. The shares have declined 3.2 percent this year.
McGraw-Hill said in September that it plans to divide itself into two businesses by year-end, with one company focused on financial information and the other on educational publishing.
The company said last month it’s in the final phase in its search for a chief executive officer for McGraw-Hill Education. Robert Bahash, president of the education unit, is retiring. McGraw-Hill Financial will include the Standard & Poor’s ratings service, S&P Indices, Platts and J.D. Power & Associates.
The company began a strategic review of its businesses in 2010. In August 2011, Jana Partners LLC, a New York-based hedge fund and investor in the company, proposed a plan to break up McGraw-Hill after a slump in education revenue.
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