Summit Business Media has sold Highline Data–its insurance information services unit–to SNL Financial LC. While he wouldn’t reveal the price, Summit Business president and CEO Andy Goodenough said that Highline was not being actively shopped and that SNL offered "an opportunistic deal and an attractive price."
"We had been competing with them directly and they are a much bigger financial data provider," says Goodenough. "It made sense to have one strong service."
Highline Data generated less than 10 percent of Summit’s overall revenue (Summit Business generates about $100 million in annual revenue). Under the deal with SNL, Summit will retain long-term access to the insurance financial data and analysis provided by Highline.
After a transition period with SNL, Highline Data managing director Reilly Cobb, who has been with the business since its formation 20 years ago, will retire.
The deal does not affect Summit’s Marketing Data Group, which offers census data on agents and includes Agent Media, Kirschners and Judy Diamond Associates. "It’s small but think we think it’s significant," says Goodenough, who adds that Summit Marketing Data group generates about the same level of revenue as Highline Data. "There are two principal purposes for this data: one is as a profitable business, but secondly it seeds all our own marketing campaigns against these people. As we’re looking to build reference division sales and event attendance, we’ll go to our list first. We don’t have to pay for lists, we own them."
Summit Business Media emerged from a Chapter 11 restructuring in May, having eliminated $140 million in debt.