S&P Global has agreed to purchase IHS Markit in a deal worth $44bn that will be the biggest merger this year.

Once completed, S&P Global shareholders will own approximately 67.8% of the combined company on a fully diluted basis while IHS Markit shareholders will own the remaining 32.2%.

As part of the merger agreement, each share of IHS Markit common stock will be exchanged for a fixed ratio of 0.2838 shares of S&P Global common stock.

The combined company will provide solutions across data, platforms, benchmarks and analytics in ESG, climate and energy transition.

The purpose of the merger is to have greater scale and business mix along with greater offering in high growth adjacencies, such as ESG, and increased customer value proposition.

Douglas Peterson, president and chief executive officer of S&P Global, will serve as CEO of the combined company and Lance Uggla, chairman and CEO of IHS Markit, will stay on as a special advisor to the company for one year following closing.

Lead by senior leaders from both teams, Ewout Steenbergen, executive vice president and chief financial officer of S&P Global, will serve as the CFO of the combined company.

The transaction is expected to close in H2 2021, subject to several conditions including the approval of shareholders of both entities however it is not subject to any financial conditions.

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Peterson commented: “This merger increases scale while rounding out our combined capabilities and accelerates and amplifies our ability to deliver customers the essential intelligence needed to make decisions with conviction.”

Uggla added: “This transaction is a win for both IHS Markit and S&P Global as we leverage our respective strengths in information, data science, research and benchmarks.

“Our cultures are well aligned, and the combined company will provide greater career opportunities for employees.”

IHS Markit partnered with S&P Dow Jones Indices earlier this year for the launch of a range of multi-asset indices