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MRSL Acquired by Harris Interactive

August 15 2001

Harris Interactive has announced the acquisition of Market Research Solutions Ltd (MSRL), the Oxford-based research agency. In a part cash and part stock deal, Harris Interactive has agreed to employ 75 MRSL employees, as well as running the existing offices in Oxford and Newport. MRSL is expected to add up to £6 million to revenues in the first year.

MRSL currently offers a full range of research and consulting services. Servicing largely UK clients this covers the range of new product testing and market opportunity analysis, whilst client coverage encompasses the financial, food and drink, IT/Internet/Web, leisure/travel/tourism, public service/utility and retail sectors.

At the same time as being acquired, MRSL will benefit from a strengthening of its management team. To this end, Greg Smith, currently the vice president of European international development at Harris Interactive, will assume the duties of group managing director for MRSL. This will mean that he will effectively take charge of MRSL's day-to-day operations. Smith will report to David H. Clemm, president and COO of Harris Interactive.

A new executive committee for MRSL will also be formed in the new organisation. It will be comprised of Smith along with founder directors of MRSL: Tim Baker, managing director of Magenta, Jon Darby, managing director of group operations and Bernard Hudson, development director. Of the other founding directors, Roger Landells, current chairman and CEO, is moving to a non-executive director role and Joy Reynolds, formerly field and personnel director for MRSL, is retiring.

"We've been working closely with MRSL for a number of years now and have always been very impressed with the work that they do," stated Dr. Gordon S. Black, chairman and CEO of Harris Interactive. "The addition of MRSL's traditional research activities to Harris Interactive's Internet-based research experience will create a powerful benefit for our clients - both in the United States and in Europe."

MRSL clients will also have access to a new organisational platform delivering Internet-based research services throughout the world. This new company will make online research capabilities available directly as well as through Harris Interactive's existing Global Network members in Europe.

Clemm added, "This acquisition is another step that will allow us to extend the strength of Harris Interactive's full spectrum of experience, including Internet-based research ability, across a much larger set of clients in the United States and Europe. Internet-based research is an enabling technology that will enhance the quality of research. MRSL provides the ideal base from which to grow our European business, in concert with our existing Global Network members, in the region."

All articles 2006-22 written and edited by Mel Crowther and/or Nick Thomas unless otherwise stated.

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