- 1 Brands
- 2 Company
- 3 Timelines
- 4 Notes
- 5 Articles
- 6 References
Experian is a consumer credit reporting agency, based in Dublin, Ireland. The group specialises in providing information services to businesses, administrations, and individuals by collecting and aggregating information on over 1bn people and businesses; it is one of the "Big Three" credit-reporting agencies, alongside Equifax and TransUnion. Operations cover 37 countries, with sales in North America (59%); UK and Ireland (17%); Latin America (15%); Europe/Middle East/Africa/Asia/Pacific (9%).ref
Areas of activity are:
- 56%: Customer risk control: supply of solutions for collecting, monitoring, processing, and archiving information provided by loan applicants;
- 19.9%: Interactive transaction management;
- 14.3%: Decisional analysis: a set of tools for use in interpreting information provided by databases, and for making the best decisions in the areas of credit risk management, protecting against fraud, etc.;
- 9.8%: Marketing services: creation and operation of declarative and behavioral information bases (mailing addresses, e-mail addresses, telephone numbers, social-professional category, age, consumer preferences, etc.).
Experian offers a host of products, every single one of which monetarises your data, which it has taken without asking.
Individuals: operates 19 consumer credit bureaus, and maintains information on nearly 800m citizens.
Business: operates 13 business credit bureaus, and maintains information on ~99m businesses.
Experian is a partner in the UK govt's Verify ID system,ref and the USA's USPS Address Validation. See also SourceWatch
- Credit Services: enables clients to make better informed lending decisions, and to make it easier and faster for their customers to obtain financing.
- Decision Analytics: provides analytical software products that enable organisations to increase the speed and quality of their decision-making. Also provides analytic and marketing assistance to businesses, including individual fingerprinting and targeting.ref
- Marketing Services: marketing solutions to enable marketers to improve acquisition, loyalty and return on marketing investment.
- Consumer Services: online access to citizens' credit history and score; and products meant to protect from fraud and identity theft.ref
Experian Information Solutions Inc
EU law says citizens are entitled to a free, bare-bones, credit report - which does not include your credit score. The Money Advice Service has a guide on how to obtain your credit report.
- CreditScore.com generates a 3-digit number based on the information in your credit report. Credit-scoring models may factor in the number of years you've had credit, how much of your available credit you're currently using, whether you've recently made any late payments, and how recently you've had any negative actions or credit applications. Consumers can see a free Experian credit report and FICO score. Website
- FreeCreditScore.com is a free membership website, offering a new Experian Credit Report and FICO Score every 30 days on sign-in. Website
- CreditCheckTotal.com offers a monthly membership, enabling consumers to monitor their credit reports with the 3 bureaus: Experian, TransUnion, and Equifax, plus FICO scores. Website
- CreditReport.com is a detailed history of the loans you've received and credit cards you've used; collections may also appear on any of the credit reports. For each account, the credit report shows payment history, current balance, credit limit, the date the account was opened, and whether the account is open or closed. Website
- FreeCreditReport.com ... ... Website
The data is compiled in partnership with Finicity Corporation, a provider of real-time financial data aggregation and insights. Experian has a 19% investment in Finicity.ref,[AR-2019, p.26,43] Website
Experian Health Inc
Experian Health provides software and solutions to hospitals and health care organisations for patient verification, compliance, payment and identity management to help healthcare organisations strengthen their bottom line.
The Universal Identity Manager identifies patients and matches records within and across disparate healthcare organisations (pharmacy, laboratory, payer, and provider) to facilitate information exchange within and across the healthcare system, creating a unique Universal Patient Identifier.
Experian's focus is on Affordability Checking and Tenant Vetting. The Affordability Check allows organisations to confirm an individual’s income and expenditure using Trussol and the Tenant Vetting Service provides an online automated check which validates the consumer’s income as well as their previous rental history from their bank transaction data.ref,ref
- 2.86% Vanguard Group Inc
- 2.83% Fidelity Management & Research Company
- 2.08% Jupiter Asset Management Ltd
- 1.88% BlackRock Investment Management (UK) Ltd
- 1.87% Morgan Stanley Investment Management Ltd
- 1.82% Norges Bank Investment Management
- 1.80% Capital Research & Management Company (World)
- 1.64% Massachusetts Financial Services Company MFS International (UK) Ltd
- 1.61% WCM Investment Management LLC
- 1.47% BlackRock Fund Advisors
|Aug.2019||MyHealthDirect, a US business developing technology to help patients schedule appointments in real-time, was acquired by Experian Health.ref,ref Website.arch, Website|
|Aug.2019||Look Who's Charging Pty Ltd was acquired. The Australian fintech startup addresses the problem of unrecognised bank transactions by offering instant clarification on the merchant behind a transaction.ref,ref Website.arch, Website|
|Jul.2019||Alchemy Technology Inc announced its full integration with Clarity Services Inc. Alchemy specialises in Student Lending and Home Improvement, offering a loan origination system, decision engine, loan management system, payment gateways, and secondary market access. Their software enables lenders to collect rich data about their customers and put it to work through powerful custom analytics and credit modeling, "crafted by lenders for lenders".ref Website|
|Apr.2019||Credit Services Holding: Compuscan and Scoresharp, (CSH Group (Pty) Ltd), a credit bureau and information services business in South Africa, was acquired from Actis.ref Actis established the buy-and-build credit services business in Apr.2014.ref,ref The CDC Group, owned by the Department for International Development, has also invested in the company.ref Website.arch Website Website|
|May.2018||Experian and Mitek Systems Inc formed a joint venture to add identity document verification and biometric facial matching to its digital identity verification software. Experian’s "CrossCore" fraud prevention and identity platform will feature Mitek’s "Mobile Verify" and "Mobile Fill" solutions to deliver seamless new account opening and help businesses achieve compliance and mitigate fraud exposure, per the Press Release.ref|
|Mar.2018||Experian announced the proposed acquisition of ClearScore, a platform which offers to show you your credit score for free — and then uses your score to suggest financial products like credit cards that fit.ref The deal was referred to the Competition & Markets Authority,ref which took a very dim view. Experian called off the deal in Nov.2018.ref|
|Oct.2017||Runpath Ltd: the remaining 75% shareholding in Runpath Group Ltd was acquired. Runpath has its roots in building and managing websites for various price comparison companies.ref It combines Experian's data with techology to allows customers to arrive at an accurate and appropriate decision very quickly. Website|
|Oct.2017||Clarity Services Inc, a provider of non-traditional credit reporting in the USA, was acquired. Clarity compiles information from sources such as low-income lenders, small dollar credit lenders, and rent-to-own companies.ref Website.arch|
|Apr.2017||Email/Cross-Channel Marketing: Equifax sold a 75% interest in its E/CCM business to private equity firm Vector Capital Management LP, . The deal included Experian’s suite of cross-channel and email products, the Experian Marketing Suite, CheetahMail, and Mail Publisher, as well as its full portfolio of professional and strategic services. ref,ref Vector Capital rebranded the firm as CheetahDigital.ref,ref The transaction completed in Mar.2018. CheetahDigital.com|
|Dec.2016||Experian got a new logo.|
|Aug.2016||CSIdentity Corporation, t/a IdentityWorks, was acquired from Investcorp Technology Partners and other investors,ref together with its UK subsidiary. CSID provides consumer identity management and fraud detection services. The acquisition was a further step in Experian's Consumer Services strategy, attracting a broader range of consumers by packaging identity protection as part of Experian membership services, broadening the offer to 3rd-party white-label partners, and expanding consumer identity services internationally. The deal was subject to Hart-Scott-Rodino regulatory approval in the USA.ref,ref Website.arch|
|Dec.2015|| Hitwise was sold to Connexity Inc.ref|
Simmons Research was sold to private equity group Symphony Technology Group, Connexity's parent company.ref,ref
|Sept.2015||Baker Hill sold to private equity firm Riverside Company.ref,ref|
|Jul.2015||FootFall was sold to Tyco International's retail performance and security division.ref|
|Sept.2014||LeadSpend Inc, maker of software tools to validate bulk email lists, was acquired by Experian Data Quality. The validation process can happen at the point of email capture or with a list that has been dormant for some time.ref Website.arch, Website|
|May.2014||HD Decisions Ltd was acquired. HDD operates in the UK financial services market, plugging into price comparison services to provide the methodology to feedback quotation searches. The product allows sites to profile their customers and match them to the best product, increasing revenues.ref,ref OC, Website.arch|
|Jan.2014||TDX Group Ltd, a UK debt management firm founded in 2004 to "offer creditors complete solutions to maximise returns from their collections and recoveries debt portfolios", was acquired from Investcorp Technology Partnersref to further solidify Equifax's UK presence.ref,ref Website.arch, Website|
|Nov.2013||Passport Health Communications Inc, a US-based provider of fraud detection services using device identification, was acquired. PHC provides data, analytics and software in the US healthcare payments market. The deal was subject to Hart-Scott-Rodino regulatory approval in the USA.ref,ref Website.arch|
|Oct.2013||41st Parameter Inc was acquired from venture capital firms Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, Georgian Partners, Northwest Venture Partners and Jafco Ventures. 41st Parameter's device identification technology, using risk-based authentication, enables clients and their consumers to interact on the web effectively and securely, recognising consumers to reduce fraud losses.ref Website.arch|
|Apr.2013||Decisioning Solutions Inc, a provider of a hosted SaaS customer acquisition platform, was acquired. The firm provides SaaS solutions to small and mid-tier companies, including financial institutions and telecommunication companies in the USA and Canada, to manage their customer acquisitions and loan originations. It will form part of Experian’s Decision Analytics activities.ref Website.arch|
|Jan.2013||Pacific MicroMarketing acquired, a consumer data and analytics business operating in Australia and New Zealand. Its software product Mosaic will be integrated with Experian's existing digital offerings.ref|
|Oct.2012||PriceGrabber, LowerMyBills and ClassesUSA were sold to the management team of those businesses. ref,ref See also Note 3|
|May.2012||Conversen, a technology platform that powers campaign management, was acquired.ref,ref|
|Mar.2012||Altovision, a Japan-based email marketing and marketing consulting company, was acquired to form part of Experian's marketing services activities in the EMEA/Asia Pacific region. The company operates in the telecommunications, financial services, retail and healthcare.ref,ref Altovision is now known as "Experian Japan". Website.arch|
|Mar.2012||Court Ventures Inc, an aggregator of electronically available public records data in the USA, was substantially acquired. The company sources, aggregates, repackages and distributes public record data, obtained from state and county sources. The acquisition is yet another step in Experian’s goal to extend its global lead in credit information and analytics.ref,ref Website.arch|
|Feb.2012||192business Ltd provides organisations with a range of electronic identity verification tools, including personal data verification, fraud screening and document verification.ref,ref Website.arch|
|Dec.2011||Garlik Ltd, a web monitoring service, was acquired from venture capital investors DFJ Esprit and Doughty Hanson. Garlik captures and monitors information from a variety of sources across the wider web and social networking sites using its proprietary web-crawler technology, DataPatrol, to find relationships between individuals in cyberspace that could indicate a citizen is no longer entitled to a benefit. ref|
|Nov.2011||Computec SA: a majority stake of 98% was acquired to extend Experian's global reach. The company is a Colombian credit bureau which provides IT outsourcing services.ref|
|Jul.2011||HM Revenue & Customs appointed Experian to help reduce losses due to fraud and error in the payment of tax credits. By revealing information such as an undisclosed partner or changes in income, Experian enables HMRC to challenge a large number of payments. During the life of this contract, HMRC expects the partnership to save the govt at least £800mn.ref|
|Jul.2011||Medical Present Value Inc, a provider of data, analytics and software in the USA healthcare payments market, was acquired. MPV's products are used by healthcare providers to manage payments between patients, commercial payers and govt programmes.ref MPV was bought from investors, including Rho Ventures, Centerpoint Ventures, MPV employees and management.ref Website.arch|
|Jul.2011||Virid Interatividade Digital Ltda, a Brazilian email marketing business, was acquired. Virid offers email delivery, email-based behavioural segmentation, real-time campaign reporting, mobile delivery and social media integration. The acquisition is a further step in Experian's strategy to expand its targeted digital marketing activities globally.ref Website.arch|
|Jul.2011||LM Group, t/a RiskDisk, a provider of credit information to small to medium enterprises in the UK, was acquired. Riskdisk was already an Experian partner, integrating Experian’s commercial credit data into its SME product set. ref,ref Website.arch|
|Jan.2011||Techlightenment: a majority stake was acquired. ref,ref The company develops technology to power social media advertising campaigns for multinational businesses and global advertising agencies.ref In Feb.2015, the remainder of Technlightenment's shares were acquired, and the company was hived up into Experian Marketing.ref|
|Sept.2010||Mighty Net Inc, operator of CreditReport.com, CreditScore.com and MyCreditScore.com, was acquired. All 3 subsidiaries sell information about their data to consumers to the large credit trackers — TransUnion, Equifax and Experian itself.ref,ref|
|Jul.2010||RentBureau, an aggregator of rental payment history data in the USA, was acquired. The company was launched in 2005 specifically to serve the multi-family industry, and provides rental history to property owners and managers, as well as rental screening companies.ref,ref|
|2010||Became the first CICRA licensed credit bureau to go live in India, where it continues to supply reports to the Reserve Bank of India's guidelines.|
|Apr.2009||Experian shut down its Canadian operations. ref|
|Dec.2008||KreditInform: Experian South Africa (Pty) Ltd acquired the whole of the issued share capital of KreditInform (Pty) Ltd, a provider of commercial credit information and analytics in South Africa.ref,ref,ref Website.arch|
|Dec.2008||SearchAmerica Inc was acquired. SearchAmerica provides payment prediction data and analytics to the healthcare industry in the USA. It helps hospitals to determine how likely patients are to pay their medical bills, and uses financial data collected by credit bureaus to determine whether patients registering for treatment will qualify for financial-assistance programs such as Medicaid or charity care.ref, ref https://web.archive.org/web/20080309144128/http://www.searchamerica.com:80/factsheet.html Website.arch]|
|Jan.2008||Jobs: Experian moved development work to India to reduce costs., with the loss of 200+ jobs in Nottingham. ref|
|2008‑2009||The financial crisis was a boon; clients needed to determine those borrowers most likely to default, to identify those who would repay their loans and to adjust payment plans for borrowers.|
|Jul.2007|| Ph Group, expert in business to business data and marketing analytics, was acquired. The business operates within Experian's business information division.ref Website.arch, Webpage|
N4 Solutions, a provider of specialist software for the mortgage and financial planning sectors, was acquired. Experian will create a new mortgage division by merging N4 with its existing mortgage group, N4 Solutions will be integrated with Experian’s existing mortgage group to create a new division within its consumer business.ref,ref Website.arch, Website.arch
|Jun.2007||Hitwise was acquired.ref,ref Hitwise is an internet monitor that collects data directly from information service provider networks, and sells it to clients to monitor the performance of their websites and target their online advertising spend more effectively. ref, ref. See also Note 2. Website.arch, Hitwise|
|Apr.2007||Inform@rketing was acquired, one of Brazil's leading providers of direct marketing services.|
|Mar.2007||Experian got a new global image and identity. The new brand positioning included a new logo, tagline and advertising campaign that conveys Experian’s dynamic growth, global reach and position as the global leader in providing information services. ref|
|2007||Serasa: an initial 65% stake was acquired from a consortium of Brazilian banks; this was Experian's first venture into Latin America. Serasa was the world's 4th largest credit bureau, formed in 1968 by a consortium of Brazilian banks. Serasa provides risk assessments based on negative data, supplied by the banks or taken from public sources. By Mar.2008, the Group’s interest was 70%. In 2012/2013, a further 29.6% interest was acquired, taking Experian's holding 99.6%.ref|
|2007||Tallyan acquired. In mid-2007, Experian acquired a number of software companies with products that filled gaps in their existing portfolio. The intention was to be able to offer Experian customers an Experian-branded product for all phases of the customer lifecycle. These included Emailing Solution, a French e-mail marketing company. The intention was to grow the existing CheetahMail business with the acquisition of this new client portfolio.|
|Oct.2006||Home Retail Group and Experian Group Ltd, with both companies listed separately on the London Stock Exchange. After the demerger, GUS plc became a wholly-owned subsidiary of Experian plc, and was renamed "Experian Finance plc". ref , GUS (retailer)|
|Sept.2006||Home Retail Group: Argos Retail Group was renamed.ref, ref|
|Sept.2006||Baker Hill acquired, a provider of relationship-management, credit-origination and risk-management solutions to the financial services industry.ref|
|Jun.2006||Eiger Systems, a UK provider of bank account validation and payment processing software in the UK and Ireland, was acquired.ref,ref|
|Feb.2006||Catalist acquired, a company specialising in the supply of information and business solutions to the retail petroleum market. The company was later hived up.ref|
|Jan.2006||FootFall Ltd acquired, a UK-based customer counting and retail information provider to the real estate and retail property industries.ref The company joined Experian's Business Strategies division, which already had wholly-owned operations in 8 countries.ref|
|Jan.2006||ClarityBlue was acquired from private equity firm ECI Partners LLP. The company designs, builds and manages marketing databases for companies with millions of customers, and its solutions enable the companies to make better informed business decisions primarily in targeting and acquiring new customers and retaining existing customers.ref,ref The company was hived up into Experian ~2008. Website.arch|
|Jan.2006||Wehkamp BV, the Dutch home shopping company, and credit management company Transfair, was sold to private equity firm Industri Kapital Ltd.ref, ref Wehkamp was GUS's last remaining catalogue business. See also Note 4|
|2006||Northern Credit Bureaus in Canada was acquired.|
|Dec.2005||PriceGrabber.com acquired. PriceGrabber became part of Experian InteractiveSM, a group of Internet marketing businesses that included LowerMyBills.com, MetaRewardSM, Affiliate Fuel, ClassesUSA.com and Experian Consumer Direct.ref, ref, ref|
|Dec.2005||Burberry: GUS divested its remaining interest.refref|
|Jul.2005||ClassesUSA.com, an education portal, was acquired.ref|
|Jun.2005||Index: GUS bought 33 Index stores plus the Index brand from Littlewoods Ltd. The stores were subsequently converted to the Argos format.|
|May.2005||Lewis Group: GUS sold its remaining 50% stake in Lewis Group to ??.|
|May.2005||LowerMyBills.com was acquired. The firm is an online generator of mortgage and other loan application leads in the USA.ref, ref Website|
|Apr.2005||Affiliate Fuel, an affiliate marketing network operator, acquired.|
|Mar.2005||MotorFile Ltd: Experian bought a further 50% interest from the Automobile Association, taking Experian’s holding to 100%. CH|
|Nov.2004||AutoLocate, a specialist software and e-business solutions organisation, was acquired from RCP Consultants.ref,ref|
|Nov.2004||Equifax Italy Srl was acquired. The firm provides consumer and business information to the financial services sector as well as real estate information, which is required by banks prior to granting secured credit. ref|
|Oct.2004|| QAS Ltd, a supplier of contact data management and identity verification software, was acquired.ref,AR-2005 Now trading as Experian Data Quality. Website.arch.|
Simmons Research, a market research company in the USA which published the National Consumer Study, was acquired.ref,ref
|Sept.2004||Americas Software Corporation, a leader in anti-money laundering software, was acquired by Experian.[ref:iii]|
|Sept.2004||Lewis Group was partially floated, with ~46% of its shares being passed to external investors.|
|May.2004||Autocount, which provides automotive dealers and lenders with information on new and used car sales and market share, was acquired.ref,ref Website|
|Mar.2004||CheetahMail acquired, a New York e-mail marketing services firm, to bolster Experian's direct marketing services.ref|
|Feb.2004||MarketSwitch, a high-scale optimisation software company, acquired. Marketswitch TRUE Suite products are used in diverse industries such as financial services, communications, retail and e-commerce.ref It will operate as a product line within Experian-Scorex, and also be integrated with Experian's Strategy Management Generation 3 product. ref,ref,ref|
|?date?||Smartal Solutions: Experian’s expanded its operations in Asia Pacific with the acquisition of the specialist in customer database solutions, local area planning and target marketing. AR-2005|
|Sept.2004||Ireland Direct Communications Ltd was acquired. Founded in 1998, the business focused on lifestyle data collection, data insight, predictive modelling and the delivery of print and mail fullfillment services.ref Website.arch|
|Aug.2004||Scorex: the outstanding ~49% in its joint venture was acquired. Scorex is a credit scoring and applications firm. ref,ref,ref,ref,ref|
|Dec.2003||MetaReward, an Internet loyalty marketing company based in California, was acquired.ref Website.arch|
|Nov.2003||BL Universal plc: British Land Company plc bought out GUS's 50% stake.ref|
|2003||McCord and Innovations were closed. The remaining portfolio, including Great Universal, Kays, and Marshall Ward, as well as the home delivery network White Arrow, and ecommerce supplier Reality, were sold to the private business empire owned by Sir David and Sir Frederick Barclay, who already owned rival catalogue Littlewoods.ref That business is now Shop Direct; the GUS brands were all gradually amalgamated into Littlewoods.|
|Nov.2002||Homebase was acquired from private equity firm Permira Holdings Ltd, and brought into Argos Retail Group.ref,ref|
|Jun.2002||Burberry partial IPO: GUS plc confirmed its intention to seek a listing for shares in Burberry Group plc (Burberry) on the London Stock Exchange by way of a global offer to institutions. GUS retained a 77% stake in Burberry Group plc.ref|
|Mar.2002||Consumerinfo.com Inc, a supplier of on-line credit reports and scores to consumers in the USA, was acquired by Experian from Homestore Inc.ref Consumerinfo.com enables subscribing consumers to see their credit report over the internet. The business trades under the names Experian Consumer Direct, iPlace Inc, and Qspace Inc. See also Note 1|
|2002‑2005||The business underwent an overhaul and restructure. The marketplace was changing fast; technological advances were changing the behaviour of consumers. Electronic commerce was growing, with direct mail in decline.|
|Nov.2001||Ebenezer Baylis & Son, a Worcester-based printing and binding operation, was sold to John Goodman & Sons (Printers) Ltd.ref|
Great Universal Stores
|Jul.2001||GUS plc: GUS was floated on the London Stock Exchange.|
|Mar.2001||Universal Versand GmbH, acquired in 1968, was sold to Otto Versand,ref 2nd-largest internet retailer in the world.ref,ref Universal Versand is now a subsidiary of UNITO Versand und Dienstleistungen GmbH, itself owned by Otto (GmbH & Co KG). The Otto family own the majority of the company.ref,ref|
|May.2001||Experian Intact, a joint venture with Synectics Solutions Ltd, was launched to offer on-line data cleansing and data processing. CH Website.arch, Website|
|Nov.2001||Vedia SA, the Swiss e-commerce company acquired in 1982, was sold to a senior management buy-out team.ref Website|
|Sept.2000||jungle.com became GUS's 9th e-commerce website, selling a wide range of electronic equipment and accessories, including computers, games, and music.ref In 2002, it became part of Home Retail Group plc. CH Website.arch|
|Aug.2000||Highway Vehicle Management Ltd, the vehicle contract hire business, was sold to Abbey National plc's subsidiary, First National Vehicle Holdings Ltd.ref,ref|
|Sept.2000||eFunds, a provider of electronic payment, risk management, and information technology services, partnered with Experian. eFunds provides transaction processing and risk management services to financial institutions, retailers, electronic funds networks, e-commerce providers and govt agencies.ref In Jun.2007, eFunds was acquired by Fidelity National Information Services Inc.ref,ref|
|Jul.2000||National Fraud Database (USA): Experian announced the formation of the first national repository of fraudulent activities. Members will report their known and verified fraud records, and will be permitted access. The information will be used by members to compare against applicant data to pre-determine the viability of an account and reduce the likelihood of fraud.ref|
|May.2000||e-series insurance, an internet-enabled insurance quotation system, was launched by Experian. Designed to enable insurance companies, brokers, retailers and new market entrants to sell insurance in real-time via the internet and other new media channels.ref,ref,ref Website.arch|
|May.2000||gusco.com was formed to fund and oversee e-commerce investments.ref|
|Jan.2000||MyPoints Europe: establishment of a European joint venture between Experian and MyPoints.com Inc, to develop, implement and operate loyalty infrastructure services including internet database and direct marketing services for corporate clients throughout Europe. ref Other investors included: Henry Kravis and George Roberts, partners in Kohlberg, Kravis, Roberts & Co. LP; GEOCapital LLC's Applewood Associates; Labrador Ventures (an affiliate of Draper Fisher Jurvetson); Primemedia Ventures; and several other prominent venture funds. ref|
|2000||Streamlining: During the year, GUS divided its operations into 3 main units:
|??.1998||Divestment: GUS sold off its Canadian furniture retailing chains.|
|Apr.1998||Argos was acquired by GUS plc in a hostile takeover, bringing 400+ catalogue showrooms into the fold.ref|
|Apr.1998||Metromail Corporation, another US database marketing business, was acquired.ref (Metromail was spun off from RR Donnelley & Sons Company in 1996.) The acquisition did not go well.ref|
|Mar.1998||GUS Finance Ltd: GUS Home Shopping formed a joint venture with Bank of Scotland's Capital Bank, offering personal loans, and store and credit cards.ref|
|Feb.1998||SG2, the largest check and debit card processor in France, was acquired from Société Générale SA. The business was subsequently integrated into Experian.ref|
|Nov.1997||Innovations, a gadgets catalog, was acquired from Burton Group plc|
|Sept.1997||Serious Business Software Inc acquired. The company provides direct marketing list information to small businesses, and will operate as a subsidiary of the Direct Tech unit.ref|
|Apr.1997||Direct Marketing Technology Inc was acquired, a Chicago-based provider of direct marketing services to the US catalog industry.ref, ref, ref|
|Feb.1997||BL Universal plc: GUS formed a 50/50 real estate joint venture with the British Land Company plc to manage GUS's vast real estate portfolio.ref CH|
|Jan.1997||Highway Vehicle Leasing Ltd was formed to acquired the assets and business of Highway Vehicle Leasing Ltd from ??.|
|??.1997||Superior Acceptance Corporation Ltd was sold.|
|Nov.1996||The deal between GUS plc, Bain Capital and Thomas H Lee was completed, with GUS's CCN Group acquiring Experian, which was then merged into CCN.ref|
Commercial Credit (Nottingham) Ltd
|Aug.1996||CCN had persuaded GUS that they should be making a bid for Experian. After rejecting Bain and Lee's offer, GUS counter-offered, and Bain and Lee agreed.|
|1991||CCN's new CEO hankered for growth. American card issuers swept into the UK, and the bankcard market started to outpace the growth in retail credit. CCN won deal after deal from the US card marketers.|
|1985||Mosaic: CCN began turning its analytical skills to the business of target marketing. Mosaic used census information in conjunction with postcodes to classify the population according to where people lived, based around the idea that ‘birds of a feather flock together’. The direct marketing business had a big national database and was supplying mailing lists to banks, building societies, retailers, manufacturers and charities. Clients also asked CCN to host their databases, taking the company into database marketing.|
|1984||The Manchester Guardian Society for the Protection of Trade was bought by CCN,ref bringing further new sources of data in the form of business credit information. Business and consumer information began to be combined. CCN had almost two thirds of the UK credit information market.|
|1983||Credit Account Information Sharing database: CCN believed credit risk could be more accurately predicted if clients could view data submitted by others. Clients could only view the database if they submitted their entire sales ledger to CCN each month. The CAIS database grew rapidly and massively increased the depth and value of the information held by CCN.|
|1981||CCN had the idea of using ordinary television sets as dial-up terminals and did a deal with a rental company. The TV sets were installed in client offices and linked through the telephone system directly to the database. Clients could make credit enquiries from their offices with instant results.|
|1980s||Autoscore, a system that would automate credit application decision-making, was launched. Deregulation in the UK, especially the removal of credit controls, led to a soaring demand for credit and an increase in unsecured lending. CCN acquired clients outside of GUS.|
|1980||Commercial Credit (Nottingham) Ltd: IBM, whom GUS had approached for some computer equipment, suggested GUS sell its credit reporting expertise; consequently, CCN was founded as GUS's commercial credit-reporting arm.ref|
|1970s||GUS's mail order business combined its data with the Cavendish Woodhouse database. Electoral roll data and county court judgments were added to GUS's database.|
|1967||Great Universal Stores had millions of small customers paying for goods on credit, with GUS subsidiary Cavendish Woodhouse offering hire purchase credit. As the business grew, GUS needed a centralised system of control to manage bad debts and to determine who to extend credit to in the first place. David Stonehouse, a merchant navy system development engineer, was appointed to develop a database.|
Great Universal Stores
- 1986-??: Divestments: more than 2,000 shops were divested through the sale of chains such as Waring & Gillow, Homecharm, the Houndsditch Warehouse, Times Furnishing Company Ltd and the Paige clothing shops, with GUS retaining the land and property, and leasing them back to the new owners.ref
- ??.1986: Thoms Household Stores Ltd was sold to Poundstretcher.ref (Poundstretcher is now owned by Crown Crest Group, run by brothers Rashid & Aziz Tayub.ref,todo)
- ?date?: Greenless Lennards Ltd: footwear.
- ?date?: Cavendish-Woodhouse (Holdings) Ltd, furniture. CH, OC
- ?date?: Morrisons Holdings Ltd: ladies fashion. CH, OC
- ?date? Art Wallpapers Ltd, general DIY retailing . OC
- 1982: Great Universal Stores plc: the company relisted as public.
- 1982: Vedia SA (Switzerland) acquired.
- 1982: Empire Stores: abortive bid.
- 1981: John Myers Home Shopping: United Drapery Stores Ltd's catalogue business was acquired, and hived up. CH
- 1977: Henry Wigfall & Son Ltd was acquired, along with its catalogues "All Yours", "Wigfalls at Home", and "Choice Mail Order". The businesses were hived up.
- 1976: S & U Stores Ltd was acquired, together with its catalogues, "Greenbank" and "Meridien".
- 1971: A & S Henry & Company was acquired. The group was primarily a group of manufacturing businesses, most of which GUS sold off, and a mail order business t/a "John Noble", which GUS retained and renamed.
- 1970s: GUS acquired a retail furniture chain in Australia, and the menswear retailers and manufacturers "Maison des '100,000' Chemises SA" in France.
- 1969: Thoms Household Stores Ltd was acquired from ??
- 1968: Times Furnishing Company Ltd was acquired. OC
- 1968: Willerby Tailoring was acquired. OC
- 1968: Universal Versand GmbH, an Austrian company founded in Salzburg in 1957 as the branch of a German optics and photo retailer, was acquired.ref,ref
- 1966: Halens Postorder AB, a Swedish direct mail order company of apparel, consumer electronics, and houseware products, was acquired.ref Website
- Nov.1962: The British Mail Order Corporation Ltd was established to trade as a mail order retailer. CH
- 1962: Wehkamp BV, a Dutch mail order business, was acquired.
- Oct.1960: Pathéscope was purchased by Great Universal Stores, mostly for its brand name.ref The Pathescope company went into receivership, and in 1961 was taken over by Great Universal Stores and became Pathescope (London).ref
- 1958: ?Name?: a paint and wall-covering chain of shops, which GUS expanded to form a much larger and more comprehensive chain of DIY stores.
- Late.1957: Hope Brothers was acquired, much against their will.
- 1957: Whiteaway Laidlaw and Company Ltd, an export drapery and finance company (a licensed deposit taker), was acquired. CH, OC. Principal subsidiary was the General Guarantee Corporation Ltd, equipment leasing/hire purchase financing. CH, OC "Sir Isaac Wolfson's General Guarantee Corporation", link, link Whiteaway Laidlow became Shawbrook Bank in Oct.2011, a specialist UK lending and savings bank focused on Property Finance, Business Finance and Consumer Lending and Savings.ref Shawbrook Group plc was delisted from the London Stock Exchange in Aug.2017 after a takeover by Guernsey-registered Marlin Bidco Ltd, a company jointly owned by private equity firms Pollen Street Capital and BC Partners LLP.ref See also Shawbrook Bank.
- 1957: Morrison's, a women's clothing group, was taken over.
- 1955: Wolfson Foundation was created to hold the family's shares.
- 1955: Scotch House (CH,OC) was acquired. The business retailed outerwear and fancy goods.
- 1955: Burberry was acquired. The business included a clothing manufacturing business. CH,OC
- 1954: Jones & Higgins, the drapers and house furnishers, was acquired.
- ?date?: Universal Bedding and Upholstery Ltd, founded in 1914 as "Northern Bedding Company Ltd" (CH,OC) sold bedding and upholstry.
- ?date?: Polikoff Universal Ltd
- ?date?: Jackson's joined the merry throng.
- 1949: Smarts, another furniture business, was taken over.
- 1949: Lewis Stores Group, a South African furniture retailer, was acquired. Website
|1945||British and Colonial Furniture Company Ltd: Gus acquired a controlling interest. BCFC was a Canadian operation with ~75 Cavendish and Woodhouse stores in the UK, plus more in Canada.|
|Mid.1940s||Marshall Ward: GUS began mail order selling.|
|Mid.1940s||Trafford: a 4th catalogue was established.|
|1945||Woodhouse, another furniture store chain, was acquired. It, too, continued trading under its own name.|
|1943||Cavendish, a furniture store chain, was acquired. It continued trading under its own name.|
|1943||Jays and Campbells, with nearly 200 furniture outlets, was bought after the previous owners had run into trouble with wartime price control legislation.|
|1937||Kays: Kay & Company Ltd, an established mail order company, was acquired. The Kays Catalogue continued being run as a separate title, and the company continued as a distinct entity within the GUS holding company.|
|1934||Midland and Hackney was acquired. The firm was a recent amalgamation of two of the oldest established installment-purchase furniture businesses in the country.|
|1931||Great Universal Stores Ltd: the company was floated on the London Stock Exchange.|
|1930s||John England: a 2nd catalogue was added.|
|1930||Great Universal Stores Ltd: the company changed its name.|
|1917||Universal Stores (Manchester) Ltd was incorporated to acquire the business carried on by Abraham Rose.|
|1900||Universal Stores was founded as a mail-order business in Manchester, by Abraham, George and Jack Rose. (G & R Rose Ltd)|
|1864||The National Association of Trade Protection Societies was formed, which lobbied to retain imprisonment for non-payment of debt.|
|1842||The London Association for the Protection of Trade was formed, and grew to serve 2,000 merchants covering London’s west-end carriage trade. It eventually became the United Association for the Protection of Trade in 1965, and ended up as part of Equifax in 1994.|
|1827||The Manchester Guardian Society for the Protection of Trade brought together business and financial information just as the industrial revolution was gaining steam.ref It operated under the same name for 157 years, until it was bought by CCN in 1984 (now Experian).|
|1803||The Mutual Communication Society of London: A group of 7 London tailors began swapping information on customers (minor nobility) who failed to pay their debts.|
|1776||The London Association for the Protection Against Swindlers and Sharpers used a newsletter to publish details of defaulters and absconders.|
|Sept.1996||Experian Information Solutions Inc: The acquisition of TRW IS&S by Bain Capital Inc and Thomas H Lee Co. was finalised, with TRW Inc retaining a ~16% stake. A condition of the sale was that the new business should not trade under the "TRW" name; it was accordingly re-branded as Experian Corporation (Experian IS Inc is the North Americas arm).ref A member of the Name Search Committee said the new name reflected a combination of "experience and expertise".ref|
|Aug.1996||Experians' new owners had expansion plans, and were looking for acquisitions. With US card issuers now entering the UK, GUS's CCN was an obvious target. However, GUS rejected their offer.|
|Jul.1996||Bain Capital LP and Thomas H Lee Partners LP, two American private equity firms, made a successful offer for TRW IS&S.ref|
|Mar.1995||TRW Inc decided to sell TRW IS&S. It was split 80:20 between credit services and other related sectors.|
|1992||File One: The two data centres in Anaheim and Richardson were consolidated into one state-of-the-art centre located in Allen, Texas. Development of the File One consumer credit reporting system commenced. File One was a highly advanced new system, which allowed TRW IS&S to create a single file for each consumer using a personal ID number to retrieve data previously splintered across the database. The switch-over in Jun.1996 took place successfully.|
|Dec.1991||Jobs: TRW decided to sell operations that had performed poorly or were considered "non-strategic", with the loss of 10,000 jobs.ref|
|Sept.1991||TRW Real Estate Information Services entered into a partnership with three real estate information service units from Elsevier, the Dutch publishing company (now known as Reed Elsevier). In Sept.1997, majority ownership of Experian's real estate information business was acquired by the First American Corporation, in partnership with Experian. The partnership was called "FARES LLC", and the new entity began operating under the name First American Real Estate Solutions. Also in 1997, Kraig Clark and Steve Schroeder co-founded C&S Marketing in Sacramento, CA. Created to provide fraud prevention and collateral risk management solutions to the mortgage banking industry, the company was later renamed as "CoreLogic Systems". In Oct.2003, First American RES acquired Transamerica's property information business, combining their real estate information and analytics businesses. ... When, if ever, did Experian exit this partnership?|
|Mar.1989||Chilton Corporation, the business started nearly 100 years earlier in 1897 by Jim Chilton, was acquired from the Borg-Warner Corporation.ref, ref|
|1986||TRW IS&S became the first agency to cover all 50 states, although Equifax was not far behind.|
|1983||TRW Information Systems & Services (TRW IS&S): TRW Credit Data was renamed. The business had developed a mass mailing department, and a property data business was added. Target marketing was born, using information from its database. TRW IS&S launched a Credentials service, which supplied consumers with copies of their credit report.|
|1980s||Deregulation in the USA doubled the number of credit cards in the USA, and average household credit balance multiplied more than five times. TRW began to employ analysts and statisticians to develop new credit scoring models, which enabled credit to be granted immediately to customers at the point of sale.|
|1968||TRW Credit Data: TRW Inc entered the credit reporting industry with the acquisition of the Credit Data Corporation (1932) to compete with the Dun & Bradstreet Corporation. TRW Credit Data used computers, a unique ID, and a standard format for information. The business expanded across the USA.|
|1958||TRW Inc: Thompson Ramo Wooldridge Inc, a specialist electronics business, was created by a merger. The firm was looking to apply technology to new commercial markets, and agreed a deal with Thompson Products to obtain much-needed capital. The joint business would eventually become known as TRW Inc.|
|1934||Retail Credit Company acquired a credit agency, the Retailers Commercial Agency Inc (1869), again due to the Great Depression. In 1979, the company would change its name to Equifax Inc.ref|
|1933||Dun & Bradstreet: the Great Depression forced the merger of R G Dun and Company with John M. Bradstreet and Company.|
|1932||Credit Data Corporation was formed in San Francisco, having its origins in the Michigan Merchants Company.|
|1930s||Data Storage: The mounting volume of credit information was held on handwritten cards. Jim Chilton adopted rollaway filing cabinets, which were moved every night into a secure vault.|
|1920s||More than 20% of purchases made in US department stores were on credit. There were 1,000+ credit agencies in the USA. Invention of the telephone meant merchants could call an agency and ask for a customer's credit report over the phone.|
|1901||TRW: The Cleveland Cap Screw Company was founded to manufacture bolts; it became Thompson Products in 1926.ref (click on "History")|
|1899||The Retail Credit Company was founded in Georgia, by brothers Cator and Guy Woolford. ref|
|1897||The Merchants' Credit Association was founded by Jim Chilton in Dallas. He listed good, as well as bad, credit risks. The firm later became the Chilton Corporation.|
|1888||The Credit Clearing House, a wholesalers' association, was founded.|
|1869||The Retailers Commercial Agency appeared in Brooklyn, New York.|
|1859||R G Dun and Company: the Mercantile Agency was taken over and renamed by Robert Graham Dun. It also published credit ratings, and was in fierce competition with Bradstreet.|
|1849||John M. Bradstreet and Company of Cincinatti pioneered the use of credit ratings, which were restricted to A thru D, and were published annually to cover much of North America and the West Indies.|
|1841||The Mercantile Agency was founded in New York. A dry goods merchant put together a lot of information on his customers, and later decided to move into the commercial information business.|
- Jun.2008: Industri Kapital Ltd changed its name to IK Investment Partners Ltd, with Luxembourg-registered parent company IK Investment Partners Sarl. ref Website
- Dec.2008: IK Partners sold an 80% majority stake in RFS Holland Holding BV, Wehkamp's holdco, to a group of private investors, with IK Partners retaining a 20% interest.ref,ref IK had reorganised Wehkamp into 3 online stores for fashion, living and electronics. IK also sold Wehkamp’s consumer loan business Lacent as part of the deal.ref,ref
- Jul.2015: Apax Partners LLP acquired RFS Holland Holding BV.ref,ref Wehkamp's previous owners had starved the company and run it down by taking humongous dividends.ref
- Oct.03.2018: Experian Flaw Just Revealed PINs Protecting Credit Data. Experian’s site exposed the personal identification numbers — the PINs needed to thaw credit freezes — after users answered their security questions with a blanket answer: "None of the above". “How do you just leave the keys to the door on top of the welcome mat?” An Experian spokesman said "Word Salad". Liz Weston, NerdWallet.
- Aug.27.2018: Experian launches free service to detect child identity theft. In response to the growing threat, Experian designated Sept.01 as Child Identity Theft Awareness Day. Press Release, PR News Wire.
- Jun.22.2018: Experian gets UK Open Banking approval. Credit reference agency Experian plc said that it has been given permission to offer services under the UK's new Open Banking rules.Experian said it will launch services via financial technology subsidiary Runpath, which it acquired in 2017. The UK's Open Banking legislation came into force on Jan.13.2018, and is designed to promote competition among financial-services providers. The 9 largest account providers in the UK are obliged under the rules to allow customers to share their data with 3rd parties. Adam Clark, Market Watch.
- Feb.14.2017: Equifax mistake with my credit score nearly lost me a mortgage. It had the wrong address and downgraded my otherwise “excellent” rating to “poor”. Anna Tims, The Guardian.
- Oct.02.2015: Experian hack exposes 15 million people's personal information. Hack of one of the largest data brokers and credit agencies in the world affects T-Mobile USA users who applied for credit checks. Sam Thielman, The Guardian.
- Feb.06.2014: Experian Gets Brand Boost from Target's Data-Breach Mea Culpa. Molly Soat, American Marketing Association.
- Dec.03.2015: Feds fine Clarity Services Inc $8 million for consumer credit violations. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau took action against Clarity Services Inc, a nationwide credit reporting company, for illegally obtaining consumer credit reports, and said the company also violated the law by failing to appropriately investigate consumer disputes. Truman Lewis, ConsumerAffairs.com.
- Feb.21.2007: Consumerinfo.com Settles FTC Charges. Federal Trade Commission.
- Oct.21.2013: Experian Identity Proofing Services Compromised; more bad news on the Data Broker front. Experian has been selling sensitive consumer Personally Identifiable Information data to a Vietnam-based identity theft service, albeit inadvertently. Our life history and records on major financial transactions are for sale in the underground. Avivah Litan, Gartner.
- How to Get a Free Experian Credit Freeze, link
- Real estate services provider First American Financial Corp. and credit data giant Experian Inc said they have completed the merger of their real estate information units into a new company, First American Real Estate Solutions LLC, which will begin operations Jan. 1. Santa Ana-based First American will own 80% of the new company and Orange-based Experian will own 20%. Financial terms were not disclosed. link, link, link
- Experian Plans $110-Million Purchase. Credit information giant Experian Inc. has signed a memo of intent to acquire the credit card and check processing unit of French banking industry leader Societe General for $110 million. Completion of the deal is expected later this month. In addition to processing financial instruments, the 1,400 employee SG2 unit compiles and markets consumer and business information databases. ref
- Getting Data on Online Buyers. Privacy advocates have something new to worry about. Orange-based Experian Inc., the credit bureau and information company, has launched a new product that enables online merchants to gather personal information about consumers as they shop. After a potential customer registers at the businesses' Web sites, Experian's software program, called Visitor Insight, runs the person's name through a giant demographic database, which contains information on about 98% of American households. ref
- Appraisers, Keep Apprised: Software Does What You Do, companies are now selling software designed to estimate home values based on comparable sales in the area, with no inspection by an appraiser. Experian Inc. of Orange was one of the first to start marketing the software, Value Point. It allows users to dial into property databases gleaned from county records. link
- 3 Credit Bureaus to Pay $2.5 Million to Settle U.S. Suit. The nation's three leading credit bureaus agreed Thursday to pay $2.5 million in fines and to adopt higher customer-service standards to settle a federal lawsuit accusing them of failing to respond to phone inquires from consumers and leaving some callers on hold for as long as an hour. The agreement brings a quick conclusion to a complaint filed Thursday by the Federal Trade Commission against Experian Inc., Trans Union and Equifax Inc.link
- Experian Pulls Plug on Online Credit Reports. Experian Inc. shut down a new Internet service Friday morning after an undetermined number of consumer credit reports were electronically delivered to the wrong people. The Orange-based company, which had been criticized by some consumer rights groups for launching the service earlier this week, said it was not a security violation but a software glitch that caused the problem. link
- Corporate Political Engagement Index 2018. The new index of 104 multi-national companies, many of whom regularly meet with govt, has found nearly 75% are failing to adequately disclose how they engage with politicians. Only one company received the highest grade, with the average grade being "E" – representing poor standards in transparency. Transparency International UK, Nov.2018.
- Experian buys rival to boost expansion. Experian has bought Clearscore, a young London-based fintech company, launched in Jul.2015. It offers free credit checks to UK customers, and makes money from products it sells to them. ClearScore said it was on track to generate £39m revenue this year. Experian said that buying Clearscore was an important step "in our strategy to extend the services we provide to UK consumers". Reuters, The Times, Mar.16.2018.
- Experian buys ConsumerInfo.com. Experian will purchase Consumerinfo.com, a consumer credit report Web site, from Homestore.com for $130m in cash. Chief Marketer, Mar.19.2002.