Ipsos has agreed to buy GfK's Custom Research business - comprising the Customer Experience, Experience Innovation, Health and Public Affairs divisions - for EUR 105m in cash. As part of the deal nearly 1,000 GfK employees will join Ipsos.
Last August, GfK announced a transformation and investment programme, following what it described as a 'difficult year' and the sale of 18.54% of the business to US-based private equity firm KKR (Kohlberg Kravis Roberts). At the time, GfK said it would invest about EUR 100m in its new strategy, financed by EUR 200m in 'cost synergies' over the next two years, with the aim of transforming from a 'recognized data authority' into a provider of analytics and 'forward-thinking' product solutions. A month after the announcement, GfK sold its Custom Research operations (excluding the GfK Retail and Technology arm) in the Baltic Republics of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania to full-service agency RAIT.
GfK CEO Peter Feld describes the latest sell-off as the next step in transforming GfK into a 'truly technology enabled data analytics provider'. The deal is expected to close around 30th September and excludes consumer panels and Spain and Portugal. Ipsos says the change will provide 'significant opportunities' for GfK customers, management and employees. GfK employees from 25 countries will join Ipsos and the 2018 revenue of the acquired business is estimated to be more than EUR 200m, with EMEA contributing around 55%, the Americas 39% and APAC 6%.
Commenting on the transaction, Ipsos co-founder, Chairman and CEO Didier Truchot (pictured) said: 'The deal has been driven by our relentless focus on providing the best possible service to our clients and our ambition to become stronger in the areas of customer experience and mystery shopping, innovation and user experience, healthcare, and last but not least, public affairs. I look forward to welcoming the GfK research teams to Ipsos and together strengthening our skills in these four key business areas, reinforcing a global powerhouse in market research, with the best talents in the industry'.
Web sites: www.ipsos.com and www.gfk.com .