Relx is to acquire Californian security technology company ThreatMetrix in a £580m deal.
The FTSE 100 information and data company said the acquisition would enable it to offer clients a much-improved approach to fraud and identity risk management.
ThreatMetrix, a leader in the global risk-based authentication sector, is headquartered in San Jose, California and was founded in 2005. The company´s technology analyses connections among devices, locations, anonymised identity information and threat intelligence, and combines this data with behavioural analytics to identify high-risk digital behaviour and transactions in real time.
ThreatMetrix claims to have strong client relationships across financial services, e-commerce, and media sectors, offering authentication solutions for account origination, payments, “card not present” transactions and account logins.
It describes itself as one of the largest repositories of online digital identities in the world, encompassing 1.4bn unique online identities from 4.5bn devices in 185 countries.
ThreatMetrix will become part of Relx´s Risk & Business Analytics unit, which under the LexisNexis Risk Solutions brand currently addresses fraud and authentication challenges by applying advanced analytics to physical identity attributes, including identity credentials, addresses and asset ownership.
Risk & Business Analytics is the fastest growing of Relx´s four business segments.
In fact, LexisNexis Risk Solutions already has a commercial partnership with ThreatMetrix, which includes using ThreatMetrix’s device intelligence solutions in its Risk Defense Platform.
“Further integration of ThreatMetrix’s capabilities in device, email and social intelligence will build a more complete picture of risk in today’s global, mobile digital economy, providing both physical and digital identity solutions,” said Relx in a statement.
“The acquisition is in line with our organic growth driven strategy, supported by acquisitions of targeted data sets and analytics that are natural additions to our existing business,” added Relx Risk & Business Analytics chief executive Mark Kelsey.
It marks Relx´s largest acquisition in a decade. In 2017, Relx completed eight acquisitions for a total consideration of £123m, and disposed of 17 assets for a total of £87m. This compares to an average acquisition spend in the previous five years of approximately £300m per annum.
Previously known as Reed Elsevier, Relx has steadily sold off most of its trade publishing titles, with the business formerly linked to well established publications such as the New Scientist.