Experian buys more of Brazilian firm -UPDATE

Information services firm Experian said it has bought almost all of Brazil's leading personal credit checker that it doesn't already own.

Information services firm Experian said it has bought almost all of Brazil's leading personal credit checker that it doesn't already own.

The company already owned a 70% stake in Serasa and has now agreed to acquire a further 29.6% interest, taking its holding to 99.6%.

It is paying a group of banks the equivalent of $1.5bn but did not say why it has not bought the other 0.4%.

The deal requires the approval of Experian shareholders as well as the thumbs up from the Brazilian authorities.

Experian's Chief Executive Officer, Don Robert, said Serasa had given his firm a beachhead from which to expand further in Latin America.

"We see significant potential for future growth in Brazil, and we are delighted to have the opportunity to further invest in this exciting region," he said.

Serasa is one of the largest credit bureaux in the world and is the market leader in Brazil, with approximately 60% market share.

Analysts at Seymour Pierce were unswayed by the news, sticking to their previous recommendation to clients to reduce their holdings of the company at current share price levels.

"The acquisition is expected to be earnings enhancing in the year ending March 2013 and thereafter," they said in a note.

"Management had previously suggested they were inclined to exercise the put, therefore today's news was not unexpected and does not change our fundamental view of the company.

"We continue to believe the shares are overvalued trading on an estimated 2013 fiscal year prospective price-to-earnings multiple of 19.5x.

We reiterate our reduce recommendation with a 1,000p target price."

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