Neustar adds caller ID provider to its services orbit

All-cash deal adds identification services to former Lockheed unit

Neustar Inc., a telecommunications company and former subsidiary of Lockheed Martin Corp., will pay $650 million in cash to acquire TARGUS Information Corp., a provider of caller identification services.

TARGUSinfo’s services help clients identify, verify, score and locate their customers and prospects. It processes over 100 billion transactions per year and generated approximately $149 million in revenues for the 12 months ending Sept. 30, 2011, according to an Oct. 11 joint statement by the companies.

“This transaction is a significant and logical step in our growth strategy,” Lisa Hook, Neustar president and CEO, said in the announcement. “By combining with TARGUSinfo, we will be able to offer a much more diverse portfolio of services in the real-time information and analytics market,” she added.

Neustar, of Sterling, Va., reported revenue of about $521 million last year.

Targus, of Vienna, Va., had revenue of about $130 million, according to Neustar. The combined companies' annual revenue should climb to about $750 million next year, Neustar estimated in the statement.

The all-cash deal essentially would combine two of the key traffic cops in the telecommunications world. Neustar's technology directs calls, texts and many Internet queries, while Targus' databases identify who is calling and from what phone number or Internet address, the Wall Street Journal reported.

Neustar gained its position as the traffic cop for the telecommunications industry in 1996 after winning contracts to serve four of the seven "Baby Bells" formed after the breakup of the nation's telephone monopoly, the Journal said. A competitor won contracts for the other three, but when it failed to build a suitable system those phone companies also turned to Neustar, the business newspaper added.

About the Author

David Hubler is the former print managing editor for GCN and senior editor for Washington Technology. He is freelance writer living in Annandale, Va.

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