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UCG agrees to sell OPIS, likely to acquire another firm.

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United Communications Group has agreed to sell Oil Price Information Service to Platt's, the energy information subsidiary of McGraw-Hill Cos. Terms weren't disclosed.

Todd Foreman, a UCG partner, told The Newsletter on Newsletters that UCG is looking at acquiring another company.

UCG is, he said, "a portfolio of information companies. We've been building our portfolio for years and have sold off units before." In 2006, for example, UCG sold its tax division, ATX, to CCH, a unit of Wolters Klewer. In the same year, UCG also sold CodeCorrect, a part of Decision Health, to Accuro Healthcare Solutions, which was owned by Welsh Carson, a private equity firm.

In another divestiture, UCG started a technology information company that it then spun off in a $100 million initial public offering in May 2007.

"We are always looking at our portfolio," Foreman told us. "We want to maximize the value of our assets. That doesn't mean everything's for sale," he added.

When big companies do acquisitions, they need to be large. Foreman told us UCG's "sweet spot for an acquisition that will run as a standalone business is $8 million to $15 million in revenue." For an acquisition that's intended as an add-on to one of UCG's current business, any size will be considered.

Sale of OPIS to Platt's is subject to government antitrust review and clearance.

In another development, Foreman told us UCG had hired Steve Greenberg to be ceo of its Decision Health unit. Greenberg joins from Inginix, a part of United HealthCare. Before that he had been with Physicians Desk Reference. Descision Health is profitable, and "we have plans in place" to grow the business, Foreman said.

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Title Annotation:United Communications Group & Oil Price Information Service
Publication:The Newsletter on Newsletters
Article Type:Brief article
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Jan 10, 2011
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