The deal would combine one of the oldest names in financial markets with a relative newcomer. S&P traces its roots to an 1860 compendium of information for railroad investors and is best known for its bond ratings and its iconic stock-market indexes, which serve as shorthand for the health of global markets. IHS Markit, formed in 2016 by the merger of two smaller players, tracks millions of data points in financial markets.
IHS in late September reported that its third-quarter profit rose while its revenue fell as its customers—which include companies in financial services, transportation and oil and gas—recovered from the shock of the coronavirus pandemic at varying speeds. A unit that supplies data to energy companies and one that sells technical information to product designers, among other things, were worst hit.