Dun & Bradstreet announces split
MURRAY HILL, N.J. (AP) _ Dun & Bradstreet Corp., a major financial information company, will split into two companies in the summer of 1998.
One of the firms will continue the Dun & Bradstreet Corp. name, and the other will be the Reuben H. Donnelley Corp., which will focus on the yellow pages distribution buisiness. Both companies will be publicly traded.
``The separation will create two sharply focused companies that will be better positioned to leverage their different core competencies,″ Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Volney Taylor said Wednesday.
After the split, Dun & Bradstreet will consist of the financial information services _ Moody’s Investors Service, a debt-rating company and publisher of financial information for investors; and Dun & Bradstreet (D&B), which provides commercial credit, business marketing and purchasing information. D&B and Moody’s reported 1996 combined revenue of $1.8 billion.
Reuben H. Donnelley, headquartered in Purchase, N.Y., will focus on the yellow pages market. The company is the largest independent marketer of yellow pages in the United States, with 1996 reported revenue of approximately $378 million.
D&B spokesman David M. Monfried said the split came about because company officials felt Donnelly was being undervalued.
``We believe the market will assign a more accurate valuation as a separate entity,″ he said.
As part of the plan, Donnelley would take on $450 million of D&B’s existing debt. Monfried said no final figures have been determined for what amount of debt that would leave for D&B, but estimated it at about $300 million. He said Donnelly took the larger amount because that company has a steady cash flow and wouldn’t be burdened by that amount of debt.
The separation of the two companies would come through a tax-free dividend of the new company.
Dun & Bradstreet still has to seek a ruling from the Internal Revenue Service with respect to the tax-free treatment of the distribution. The transaction is subject to the Internal Revenue Service’s ruling and to final approval Dun & Bradstreet’s board of directors.