Global research group Ipsos has acquired MORI, the UK's largest independently owned MR agency, in a deal worth £88m. Ipsos UK and MORI will combine to form a new company to be known as Ipsos MORI. The purchase will almost double Ispos' UK revenue.
Richard Silman, Ipsos UK's CEO, will become Executive Chairman of Ipsos MORI, maintaining responsibility for media research. Brian Gosschalk, currently CEO of MORI, will become CEO of Ipsos MORI, responsible for the company's other research areas. Gill Aitchison, newly appointed last week as Ipsos MD (www.mrweb.com/drno/news4659.htm ), will report to Gosschalk.
Sir Robert Worcester, founder of MORI, is to take on a new role as Chairman of the Advisory Board of Ipsos Public Affairs worldwide. Sir Andrew Likierman, MORI's chairman, will continue as a consultant to the UK business.
Detailed restructure plans will be announced in February 2006. According to Silman, the broad aim is to restructure the new company around the five main Ipsos research areas - marketing, advertising, loyalty, media, and public affairs. The integration is being overseen by a seven-strong executive management team consisting of Silman, Gosschalk and Aitchison, plus David Hollis, CFO at Ipsos; Roland Lloyd, Director of Operations at Ipsos; Mike Everett, currently MD of MORI; and Ben Page, Head of MORI's Social Research Institute. Page will lead the combined Ipsos MORI public and social research business.
Ipsos is anticipating annual cost savings of £1.2m as a result of the deal. Silman says that most of this will come from infrastructure savings rather than job cuts, though he expects a 'low level' of redundancies due to duplication of certain roles. He points out that both companies have recently been experiencing healthy growth: Ipsos at 14% and MORI at 10%.
Ipsos Co-President Didier Truchot says the combination of the two companies will provide clients with 'significantly enhanced capabilities across each of our business lines', and will strengthen Ipsos' expertise in Public Affairs and Loyalty.
Silman told DRNO that the new combined company will be able to offer clients 'a wider range of capabilities - from products and services to people skills. We hope to offer Ipsos services to MORI clients, and to provide MORI with access to an international network'.
Gosschalk is also positive, stating that 'the private sector side of our business will benefit from Ipsos' strong global network, and the merged business will have a powerful Public Affairs offering'.
The companies are online at www.ipsos.com and www.mori.com.
All articles 2006-23 written and edited by Mel Crowther and/or Nick Thomas unless otherwise stated.