IHS (Information Handling Services) does more than handle information. Its experts process information from a variety of sources to provide analysis, business and market intelligence, and technical documents, which it distributes in electronic formats. Products such as collections of technical specifications and standards, regulations, parts data, and design guides are sold through its four areas of information: Energy, Product Lifecycle, Security, and Environment. The company also offers economic-focused information and analysis through its IHS Global Insight subsidiary. IHS primarily earns revenue through subscription sales.
IHS, based in Englewood, Colorado, has more than 130 offices in 32 countries. The company generates about two-thirds of revenue from US customers. About a quarter of sales come from Europe with about 9% from the Asia-Pacific region.
While maintaining steady growth since 2010, the company’s revenue popped up 21% to $2.2 billion in 2014. Subscriptions posted a 6% organic gain for the year. Revenue contributed by recent acquisitions was fueled by Polk, which it bought in the third quarter of 2013. Higher revenue spurred a 48% increase in net income, which reached $194.5 million.
Acquisitions of companies in high growth markets that fill a gap in IHS’s expertise have been a key part of the company’s strategy. In the past decade, IHS has spent about $4 billion on 60 companies. The company also hires well-known experts in their fields for knowledge and market impact. Daniel Yergin, a Pulitzer-Prize winning oil industry expert, is vice chairman, and the company added a former US diplomat well known in energy circles to its ranks in early 2015.
Mergers and Acquisitions
In 2015, IHS acquired Rushmore Reviews, a provider of subscription-based information on drilling and completions in the oil and gas industry. Rushmore’s benchmarking and analytics products complement IHS’ well information assets and extends their reach globally.
The company made several acquisitions in 2014 to expand in businesses and geographies. One deal brought PacWest Consulting Partners into the IHS fold. The Houston-based company added intelligence and analysis in the unconventional oil and gas industry, which includes hydraulic fracturing (fracking).
The acquisition of PCI Acrylonitrile, a provider of chemical market insight and consulting services for the global acrylonitrile and derivatives industry, strengthens IHS Chemical’s global market coverage in the commodity and engineering plastics and fibers sectors
The purchase of Global Trade Information Services, a provider of international merchandise trade data, supports the IHS Maritime business.
IHS completed its acquisition of the DisplaySearch and Solarbuzz businesses of the NPD Group Inc. in 2014. The units added to IHS expertise in displays (such as computer monitors and TVs) and in solar energy.