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Retail and CPG research leaders IRI and NPD to merge

Retail and CPG research leaders IRI and NPD to merge
The two market research firms will combine consumption data capabilities and view of total retail purchasing trends.

Leading market research firms Information Resources Inc. (IRI) and The NPD Group on Thursday announced the signing of a definitive agreement through which IRI and NPD will merge.

The combination of the companies will create a global technology, analytics and data provider that offers clients a view of total retail purchasing and consumption trends powered by advanced, predictive analytics on the IRI Liquid Data technology platform. 

The transaction, which is subject to customary closing conditions, is expected to close in the second half of 2022. Terms of the agreement were not disclosed. However, according to Bloomberg News, the deal values the combined entity at more than $8 billion, including debt, according to a person familiar with the matter, who asked to not be identified because the terms are private. 

“This combination is a win for IRI, NPD, our clients and our teams as we bring together two industry leaders to offer a total store view,” said Kirk Perry, president and CEO of IRI. “We look forward to joining forces with the NPD team, which brings expertise in parts of the store that IRI does not cover today. As the global retail landscape continues to evolve, IRI and NPD will have innovative technology, analytics, data resources, talent and geographic reach to best support the growth of the world’s leading brands and retailers. Our combined organization will be well-positioned for continued innovation and success, backed by the expertise and resources of our new majority investor, Hellman & Friedman, alongside our long-term partners at Vestar Capital and New Mountain Capital.”

NPD CEO Karyn Schoenbart added, “We are excited about the prospect of combining our companies to give clients the tools and information they need to succeed amid changing consumer behavior. Both NPD and IRI share similar client-focused, innovative and collaborative cultures, making this combination a natural fit.”

By bringing together complementary data assets across a broad range of industries on a sophisticated data visualization platform, the combined business will empower brands and retailers to collaborate, better service their customers, respond to trends and leverage more powerful insights to drive growth. NPD provides market information and advisory services for general merchandise, including softlines, technology and retail, as well as foodservice and food consumption. This will be combined with IRI’s market measurement, supply chain and media optimization solutions, technology platform, retail relationships and data assets for the CPG industry, which encompasses the grocery, convenience and over-the-counter healthcare categories.

H&F, a global private equity firm, will acquire a majority stake in IRI and merge IRI with H&F portfolio company NPD. H&F will lead an ownership group consisting of existing long-term IRI investors Vestar Capital Partners (“Vestar”) and New Mountain Capital (“NMC”), which will both retain significant investments in the combined company. Following the close of the transaction, H&F, Vestar and NMC will each have representation on the combined company’s board of directors. Kirk Perry will become CEO of the combined company and serve on the board. NPD Executive Chairman Tod Johnson will be chairman of the combined company’s board, and Karyn Schoenbart also will join the board. Jeff Ansell, current chairman of IRI’s board, will continue on the combined company’s board as well. Johnson and Schoenbart will continue to lead NPD until closing and will remain investors in the combined company.

Evercore, Goldman Sachs & Co. LLC and Guggenheim Securities LLC are serving as financial advisors to IRI, and Kirkland & Ellis LLP is serving as legal counsel. Jefferies Group LLC is serving as exclusive financial advisor to NPD and H&F, and Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP is serving as legal counsel. Kramer Levin is serving as legal counsel to Johnson and Schoenbart.

supermarket news logoThis piece originally appeared on Supermarket News, a New Hope Network sister website. Visit the site for more grocery trends and insights.

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