[Part I] Last week, Dun & Bradstreet announced the acquisition of Bisnode Business Information Group for $818 million. The deal greatly strengthens their European presence across 18 countries, including the Nordics, D-A-CH, and Eastern Europe.
When the deal closes, Dun & Bradstreet will “rapidly introduce” its credit and supplier risk management solutions, along with its sales and marketing services, to clients across Europe, “providing vital business intelligence to help them compete, thrive and grow.”
Ratos AB CEO Jonas Wiström noted that Bisnode’s focus has “improved customer offering, stability, and profitability,” but that ongoing growth “requires that Bisnode participate in the consolidation that is taking place in the increasingly global market for data and analytics.”
Over the past four years, Bisnode has doubled its operating margin from 7% to 14%. In H1 2020, eleven to the twelve companies within the Bisnode group improved their earnings.
“We are convinced that Dun & Bradstreet is the best possible partner to lead this consolidation. The combined strengths of our assets and capabilities will greatly serve our respective clients, increase competitiveness and position Dun & Bradstreet/Bisnode for long-term growth. I look forward to joining the Dun & Bradstreet International Strategic Advisory Board.”Ratos AB CEO Jonas Wiström
Ratos’ strategy is to hold companies that are or can become market leaders, but Bisnode, as a standalone organization, is not in a position to build a market-leading position in data and analytics.
Dun & Bradstreet offers a suite of advanced B2B sales and marketing solutions that can be cross-sold into the Bisnode customer base. Cross-sale opportunities include D&B Lattice (a customer data platform), D&B Analytics, D&B ABM Platform, D&B Audience Solutions (Visitor Intelligence, webforms, and programmatic advertising), D&B Optimizer (DaaS enrichment and validation), D&B Direct (API), and D&B Hoovers.
Dun & Bradstreet anticipates operational efficiencies from migrating Bisnode customers off legacy platforms onto Dun & Bradstreet solutions, more efficient data sourcing and curation, and leveraging global resources to make all functions more efficient.
Owning the full revenue stream of Dun & Bradstreet products increases the profitability of localizing services due to the removal of revenue shares and the availability of local sales and support teams. The D-A-CH region would likely be the initial target for localization. For example, D&B Hoovers has Nordic, German, and Austrian financials and corporate linkages, but the UI and event triggers are only in English.
“When you get into some of those 18 countries within the Bisnode territory, there wasn’t that level of localization” as compared to the UK, said Jabbour. “So there is a fantastic opportunity to bring our modern platforms [and] modern APIs and make small tweaks from a localization perspective.”
“The products that we have rolled out have been very successful,” continued Jabbour. Dun & Bradstreet expects continued success and greater market focus on the Bisnode markets. During the pandemic, Dun & Bradstreet’s product sales by Bisnode grew “nicely.”
“The closer we can get to the headquarters of any business and really share our value proposition [and] ways [that] we can help that business grow their revenues, improve their margins, and remain compliant,” the greater the opportunity. “We have a lot of confidence in our go-to-market approach, and this simplifies it because now there is one instead of two companies involved in serving that large enterprise on a global basis,” observed Jabbour.
Another advantage of direct ownership is Dun & Bradstreet is no longer looking to influence the sales team but will have direct control over incentive and compensation plans.
Part III publishes tomorrow.