IHS to Acquire Engineering Search Engine GlobalSpec

IHS announced Tuesday it plans to snap up engineering search engine GlobalSpec in a $135 million deal.

For GlobalSpec’s nearly 7 million registered users, they’re about to be swallowed by IHS’ rapidly growing network of targeted technical information Web sites. Just in the past three years, IHS has closed 21 acquisitions.

And for GlobalSpec’s 230 employees, they are likely to experience layoffs based on IHS’ previous acquisitions – especially for those who work in GlobalSpec’s data center.

Here’s why, based on IHS’ most recently quarterly filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission:

Newton is our plan to centralize our number of data centers over time, taking us from dozens of data centers currently to no more than three.  As IHS has grown through acquisitions, the number of data centers we have has grown as well.

IHS further notes in its SEC filing:

We incurred $7.5 million of restructuring charges in the first quarter of 2012 for direct and incremental costs associated with the consolidation of positions to our Centers of Excellence, the elimination of positions related to other identified operational efficiencies, and the consolidation of legacy data centers, including certain contract termination costs. It included the movement or elimination of approximately 100 positions. Similar initiatives are expected to occur in future periods resulting in additional restructuring charges.

An IHS spokesman declined to comment on the merger announcement and any pending layoffs, noting the deal has not closed yet.

He did note, however, that IHS currently employs 5,900 people worldwide. And he also supplied a link to an extensive list of acquisitions the company has made dating back to 1977.

“With the acquisition of GlobalSpec, IHS will transform engineering workflows and decision making with seamless integration of information, insight and productivity tools,” says Jerre Stead, IHS CEO.

For those GlobalSpec employees who remain after the merger, you may find a safe haven if you’re in the productivity tools area.

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