Platts to acquire OPIS (update – deal terminated)

Update February 15, 2011: UCG is no longer selling its wholly-owned subsidiary, Oil Price Information Service, LLC (OPIS), to Platts, a division of the McGraw-Hill Companies. Apparently UCG terminated the agreement.

Platts, a leading global provider of energy and metals information and a division of The McGraw-Hill Companies, today announced an agreement to acquire Oil Price Information Service, (OPIS) from United Communications Group (“UCG”), a privately held business information provider.  OPIS, which is headquartered in Gaithersburg, Maryland, is a leading provider of news and price information to the wholesale and retail petroleum markets in North America. The purchase price was not disclosed. The acquisition is expected to be completed in the first half of 2011, subject to regulatory approval.

“OPIS is a great complement to Platts.  It supports our growth strategy by expanding our presence in North America and extending our price reporting into the wholesale and retail petroleum markets,” said Larry Neal, president of Platts.  “The combination of Platts and OPIS data will bring greater transparency to the markets by giving customers greater insight into the petroleum supply chain – from crude trading to retail sales.”

Neal added that Platts expects to maintain OPIS’ products and services. “We intend to build on OPIS’ respected position in the market, its track record in product development, talented staff and committed customer base to enhance the value of its offerings and serve a larger audience.”

OPIS CEO Brian Crotty said, “We are delighted to join forces with a firm that is so well-respected within the energy industry.  With the credibility and resources of Platts and McGraw-Hill behind us, we will be able to expand our product and service offerings to customers and develop new ways to serve the energy information markets.”

Founded in 1977, OPIS provides posted prices for more than 400 wholesale terminals and retail fuel prices for over 120,000 gas stations.  In addition to serving the rack and retail markets, it produces 4,000 price assessments for seven U.S. spot markets.  Its broad customer base includes refiners, traders, brokers, large end-users, suppliers, wholesalers, fleets and consumers.  The company maintains a database of more than five billion historical spot, rack and retail prices and delivers the majority of its news and pricing information to customers electronically.

USA, New York, NY & Gaithersburg, MD

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