Global information provider IHS Inc. this week announced its acquisition of Prime Publications Inc., which owns 50 percent of Lloyd's Register-Fairplay Limited. The deal makes IHS an equal joint venture partner in Lloyd's, a global maritime information provider. IHS paid about $75.5 million for Prime Publications.

Lloyd's maritime information includes coverage of world merchant fleet (tankers, cargo, carrier and passenger ships) through a variety of products and services. It provides information about ships, companies, ports, real-time vessel movements, as well as research and consultancy services for the shipping industry.

In a statement announcing the deal, IHS notes that the maritime information market is of interest to customers in all four of its business segments: energy, product lifecycle, security and environment. The company also believes that Lloyd's offerings with complement those provided by Jane's Information Group, which focuses on the security segment.

Lloyd's also maintains extensive databases for the maritime industry. The company also publishes magazines that cover international shipping, safety, security and port-related activities. It also organizes conference, exhibitions and seminars.

Acquiring Prime Publications to gain access to Lloyd's is a solid move by IHS. This one acquisition will positively impact all facets of IHS's business, since Lloyd's content is relevant to many of IHS's current customers. The company won't have to do much with these new properties, at least not initially. The Lloyd's product line is already rather complete, with publications, databases, research and consultancy services, as well as events in its stable. But look for IHS to use its resources to maintain the stability of Lloyd's offerings and perhaps grow them over time as it markets them to current IHS customers who may not yet be familiar with these products.