Chime company Facts International has announced the acquisition of London-based acefieldwork, part of Munro Global, for an undisclosed sum. The companies will continue to trade separately under their existing brand names until next year when they will merge.
Based in Ashford, Kent, Facts International employs around 75 full-time staff. The combined fieldwork team now includes over 1,000 telephone interviewers, 1,000 mystery shoppers, over 3,000 face-to-face interviewers and around 700 qual recruiters.
As part of the deal, Facts International will provide Munro Global's fieldwork, allowing it to focus on its core insight and consultancy operations.
acefieldwork was founded in the 1970s and acquired by Munro Global in 2006. Among its offerings is FlexiHalls, a proprietary service using the 3G mobile network to offer online surveys from hall-based locations in urban or rural areas around the UK.
Crispin Beale, CEO of Facts International, says the timing of this acquisition is ideal given his firm's growth and subsequent need for additional resource. 'We aim to build a 'superteam' from these joint resources that offers best-in-class fieldwork in the UK and further afield, helping Facts International to achieve its goal of being the UK's premier fieldwork agency'. He adds that the company has already invested hundreds of thousands of pounds in its telephone centre and is the first research business in the UK to use multi-mode platform Confirmit Horizons.
Richard Hepburn, CEO of Munro Global, describes the deal as 'an extremely positive development for both parties' and says his group has been growing its consultancy offer and reducing its in-house fieldwork capabilities. 'Facts International's focus and investment in fieldwork means that we see it as an ideal home for Munro fieldwork'.
Facts says it has restructured its business in line with the buy and made two senior promotions: ace's Client Services Director Shirley Featherstone will become Facts' Field Operations Director, and Kerry Ovenden will become Telephone Operations Director - both reporting to newly arrived Mark Squires.
Featherstone has almost 30 years' experience in field operations from companies including Gordon Simmons Research and SIA; and has a particular strength in mystery shopping. Ovenden has around ten years of research experience and ran her own business before joining Facts International and helping to significantly expand the call centre.
The other companies in Chime's Research & Engagement Division are Opinion Leader, Caucus World, Tree, Naked Eye and Brand Democracy.
Web sites: www.facts.uk.com and www.chime.plc.uk .
All articles 2006-21 written and edited by Mel Crowther and/or Nick Thomas unless otherwise stated.