Synovate Buy Gives Ipsos More Muscle, Stature In Market Research

With its acquisition of Synovate, Paris-based Ipsos will leapfrog into the No. 3 spot among global market research firms, according to Inside Research, the newsletter that tracks the industry.

Through 2010, per the newsletter, Ipsos is the fifth-ranked market research firm in the field, followed by Synovate, currently No. 6. The companies have market-research revenues of $1.5 billion and $884 million, respectively. (The publication defines market research revenues as those relating to marketing, advertising and public opinion.)

The combined entity would surpass IMS Research and GFK in the rankings. Nielsen is top-ranked and WPP's Kantar is No. 2.

Ipsos said it expects the deal, valued at around $860 million, to close at the end of September. The company said it would be partially financed through a new $350 million-plus debt offering.

According to Inside Research founder and editor Jack Honomichl, Ipsos -- which has acquired numerous companies over the years -- is a good integrator. "There are no heavy boot steps," when they take over a company, he said. Acquired companies are usually given wide latitude to run their operations.



Ipsos co-president Didier Truchot stated: "This deal will meet our goals to make Ipsos a worldwide brand, synonymous with excellence in each of its fields of specialization and better able to attract and keep clients."

Also making the acquisition attractive, Ipsos said, would be improved clout during negotiations with suppliers worldwide. The company indicated that improved efficiencies would be achieved by the pooling of certain production centers and the consolidation of online panels, communications and IT units within the two firms.

Ipsos also said the combination with Synovate is "expected to accelerate growth and generate improved margins in the medium term."

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