NEW YORK -- The McGraw-Hill Companies has signed an agreement to acquire J.D. Power and Associates. The transaction, which is subject to Hart-Scott-Rodino regulatory review, is expected to close in April. Terms were not disclosed. J.D. Power and Associates, founded in 1968 by J.D. Power III, provides an independent source of marketing information to consumers and businesses worldwide. It is a provider of marketing information services for the global automotive industry and has established a presence in several other important industries including finance and insurance, healthcare, home building, telecommunications, and energy. Its customer satisfaction ratings and market research are recognized worldwide as benchmarks for quality.“The addition of J.D. Power and Associates will significantly strengthen our core business information platform by providing a new direct link to consumers, while also providing new collaborative opportunities with our leading franchises including BusinessWeek, Platts, McGraw-Hill Construction, Aviation Week and our healthcare group,” said Scott Marden, president of The McGraw-Hill Companies’ Information and Media Services. J.D. Power III, the founder, will remain actively involved in the strategic direction of the operation, and Stephen Goodall will continue to serve as J.D. Power and Associates president, with responsibility for day-to-day operations. The company, which includes the Power Information Network, LLC, has 787 employees, operates globally in 12 locations, and will maintain its Westlake Village, Calif., headquarters as well as its other regional offices.