Dun & Bradstreet sold for more than $100 million profit
Wednesday, 01 September 2010 12:51 Christine Christian Dun and Bradstreet
Christine Christian and her staff will be celebrating a gusty win today with the news that the Australian arm of Dun & Bradstreet has been sold for $233 million to a subsidiary of The Dun & Bradstreet Corporation, netting well over $100 million in profit. In 2001 Christian, the chief executive of Dun & Bradstreet Australia, launched a successful management buyout of DBA with some of her staff and AMP Capital. At the time she had been at DBA for about seven years.
"We were considered by the D&B Corporation as really not strategically important. Australia and New Zealand comprised about 1% of D&B's revenue so we really didn't get a lot of focus," she said in an interview with SmartCompany.
She paid $25 million for the business nine years ago when revenue was $30 million.
Three years ago, 90% of DBA was sold to investment bank Carnegie Wylie & Co (now Lazard Australia), leaving Christine and her staff with 10% of the company.
D&B had been considering an IPO but when the market turned sour their preferred option was a trade sale back to The D&B Corporation.
Lazard Australia managing director John Wylie says the sale reaped Lazard a $100 million profit and the investments success was due to the DBA management team, which will remain with the business.
Christian said it was the right time for the business to return to the DBC network due to the global nature of the business of credit analysis and reporting. She refused to discuss how much profit she and her staff had earned but says they are all "very happy". She says revenue under her watch increased from $30 million nine years ago to $110 million this financial year.
She says it made sense for D&B to buy back the company that she bought from them nine years to the day.
"Back then they redeployed the funds on emerging markets as they didn't see Australia as strategically important. That has changed. Australia is emerging as a key market in the global economic environment. Australian businesses have done very well and many are expanding, especially into Asia. They now see Australia as strategically important for the region."