Commercial property data group CoStar, of the US, is to buy STR Global for $450m. STR was founded in 1985 as Smith Travel Research. The company’s key brand is the STAR report which supplies benchmarking data to hotel groups, aggregating data from 65,000 hotels across 180 countries.
STR is based in Tennessee and has 370 employees across 15 countries. Revenues should be $64m in 2019 with profits of $16m, a margin of 25%, and a multiple of 28 times illustrating the ongoing high valuations afforded to data business.
CoStar was established in 1987 and has expanded through supplying information in commercial, industrial, retail and rental property. The deal represents the company’s first foray into the hotel sector. It is currently valued at $21.5bn on NASDAQ. The company plans to use its sales force to expand STR’s geographical reach and to introduce a forecasting service.