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YouGov Continues US Expansion with Harrison Buy

August 10 2010

UK-based online research specialist YouGov has expanded its presence in the US with the acquisition of marketing and research consulting firm the Harrison Group.

Doug Rivers and Doug HarrisonThe basic purchase price will be $6m, followed by further payments dependent on strong EBITDA growth targets being achieved by Harrison in the calendar years 2011 and 2012. Based on the firm's current business plans, the total amount is expected to be approximately $13m.

Headquartered in Waterbury, Connecticut, Harrison specialises in concept evolution, forecasting, segmentation, branding, business consulting, and market modelling across multiple sectors, with a particular focus on the interactive entertainment and wealth sectors.

The company was founded in 1996 by Doug Harrison, who previously ran strategic research and volumetric forecasting at Yankelovich Partners. When the deal is concluded, he will remain with the firm as CEO, overseeing the team of 35 staff.

YouGov acquired US firm Clear Horizons last year and political and social research specialist Polimetrix in 2006. The latest deal will double the scale of its US business and create a strong platform for future growth, the firm says.

It will also add Harrison's Survey of Affluence and Wealth in America and the newly released American Pantry study of consumers' attitudes to the recession to YouGov's suite of syndicated products.

Harrison conducts almost all of its research studies through outsourced online methods, and a substantial proportion of this data collection is expected to switch to YouGov's existing US panel and international panels in the period after the transaction.

'The acquisition of Harrison will boost YouGov's rapidly expanding market research business in the
US,' explains Doug Rivers, CEO of YouGov USA. 'Harrison's expertise in addressing corporate branding and segmentation issues will help us further to develop our range of syndicated products, and we share a vision of how innovations in research can produce solutions to real business problems.'

Web sites: http://www.corp.yougov.com and www.harrisongroupinc.com .

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