Chicago, USA and Nuremberg, Germany – July 1, 2022 – NielsenIQ and GfK SE (“GfK”), two leaders in global information services, today announced a definitive agreement through which the companies plan to combine, creating new capabilities in the consumer and retail measurement industry. Powered by state-of-the-art cloud technology, the combination will bring together complementary data and analytics assets to provide a comprehensive view of shopper spending through a total store read, enabling clients to anticipate trends and react faster to consumer needs and expectations. The terms of the agreement were not disclosed.
GfK’s leading position in technology and durables across 67 countries, combined with NielsenIQ’s leading position in the measurement of fast-moving consumer goods in 90 countries will allow for expansion within the companies’ traditional client industries as well as new market segments. With a larger technology and operations talent base around the world, the combined company will innovate and bring new products to market even faster and then scale them to a broader set of markets and industries. Both companies firmly believe in the strategic merit this combination holds and are looking to further expand the business both geographically and vertically.
“Over the past year, NielsenIQ has been investing both organically and inorganically in the most comprehensive coverage, advanced technologies and predictive analytics to enable our clients to have a complete understanding of their consumers,” said Jim Peck, Executive Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of NielsenIQ. “Combining our market-leading capabilities will allow us to further accelerate innovation that best serves our expanded client base and deliver significant value for all our stakeholders. Together with GfK, we have the opportunity to influence the future of global retail and consumer measurement – one that is fast, nimble and connected.”
Through the combination of NielsenIQ’s cloud based Connect platform and omnichannel measurement technologies and GfK’s recently launched gfknewron platform, the company will become a true analytics leader. Its solutions will provide a harmonized, granular and consistent view of consumer purchasing behavior across channels and categories, allowing for real-time decisions to enhance performance and fuel growth. The two companies will bring together an extensive range of talent and expertise, with a proven record of success in measurement and analytic capabilities.
“GfK has successfully navigated a digital transformation to profitable and sustainable growth over the last years. Joining forces with NielsenIQ is now the logical next step for us and will support the next stage of our company’s development,” said Lars Nordmark, Interim Chief Executive Officer and Chief Financial Officer of GfK. “The combination with NielsenIQ will enable us to empower our customers to make smarter decisions across their organizations at a truly global scale and accelerate our journey into the next chapter of innovation. This will allow us to tap into significant new growth opportunities.”
With this transaction, Advent will become the majority shareholder of the combined company. Advent acquired NielsenIQ in a transaction that closed in 2021.
“We see tremendous potential to build on the two companies’ strong brands and cutting-edge platforms,” said Chris Egan, Managing Partner at Advent. “Given the capabilities and resources of the soon-to-be combined entity, we are confident in our ability to build a truly global leader in consumer and retail data. Drawing on our global footprint and operational strength, we aim to further scale the business and advance its position across established and emerging markets.”
Since GfK’s spin-off from NIM in 1984, NIM has been the company’s majority shareholder and will remain one of the key shareholders of the new combined company. Based on the transaction, NIM will be able to further drive and accelerate its development as a leading international research institute.
“GfK and NielsenIQ, two top players in market research, have almost 200 years of combined experience. We see the combination of their complementary strengths as a unique opportunity, creating exciting new business opportunities for both parties. The combination is, thus, in the best interest of their employees, customers and retail partners alike,” said Manfred Scheske, President of NIM, and continued: “As a significant shareholder of the new company, NIM will be able to continue its development as a leading international research institute, fulfill its main purpose, as defined by the association’s statutes, and live-up to its founders’ ambitions.”
Alongside NIM, KKR will stay invested in the combined company as a minority shareholder. The global investment firm took GfK private alongside NIM in 2017 to support GfK’s strategic transformation and pave the way for sustainable growth. In close collaboration with the company’s management team, NIM and KKR supported the company in a comprehensive transformation, focusing its portfolio, introducing cutting-edge predictive analytics offerings and accelerating its profitable organic growth.
“GfK is much stronger today than it was five years ago, and the 2021 results are a testament to GfK’s effort and readiness to continue its path to become an integrated data, analytics and consulting firm providing superior service to its clients. We strongly believe that GfK coming together with NielsenIQ is a transformative combination that allows GfK to proceed on its growth and innovation trajectory at an even faster pace”, said Philipp Freise, Partner and Co-Head of European Private Equity at KKR.
The transaction is expected to close later this year or early next year, subject to the satisfaction of customary closing conditions. Until closing, NielsenIQ and GfK will remain independent companies focused on their current strategies and growth plans.
Advisors and Legal Counsel
J.P. Morgan Securities LLC and HSBC Securities are serving as financial advisors to Advent International Corporation and NielsenIQ, and Ropes & Gray LLP, Covington & Burling, Weil Gotshal & Manges LLC and Squire Patton Boggs are serving as legal counsel. Goldman Sachs Bank Europe SE is serving as financial advisor to KKR and Nuremberg Institute for Market Decisions. Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP and Hengeler Mueller Partnerschaft von Rechtsanwälten mbB are serving as legal counsel to KKR.
Rothschild & Co is serving as financial advisor to Nuremberg Institute for Market Decisions. Fieldfisher and Baker & Hostetler LLP is serving as legal counsel to Nuremberg Institute for Market Decisions. White & Case LLP is serving as legal counsel to GfK SE.
NielsenIQ, a global information services company, delivers the gold standard in consumer and retail measurement, through the most connected, complete, and actionable understanding of the evolving global, omnichannel consumer. NielsenIQ is the source of confidence for the industries we serve and the pioneer defining the next century of consumer and retail measurement. Our data, connected insights, and predictive analytics optimize the performance of CPG and retail companies, bringing them closer to the communities they serve and helping to power their growth.
NielsenIQ, an Advent International portfolio company, has operations in 90+ markets, covering more than 90% of the world’s population. For more information, visit NielsenIQ.com.
GfK. Growth from Knowledge.
For over 85 years, GfK has earned the trust of its clients around the world by solving critical business questions in their decision-making process around consumers, markets, brands and media. The company’s reliable data and insights, together with advanced AI capabilities, have shaped access to real-time actionable recommendations that drive marketing, sales and organizational effectiveness of its clients and partners. That’s how GfK promises and delivers “Growth from Knowledge”.
For more information, visit https://www.gfk.com.
About Advent International
Founded in 1984, Advent International is one of the largest and most experienced global private equity investors. The firm has invested in over 390 private equity investments across 41 countries, and as of December 31, 2021, had $88 billion in assets under management. With 15 offices in 12 countries, Advent has established a globally integrated team of over 265 private equity investment professionals across North America, Europe, Latin America, and Asia. The firm focuses on investments in five core sectors, including business and financial services; health care; industrial; retail, consumer and leisure; and technology. For over 35 years, Advent has been dedicated to international investing and remains committed to partnering with management teams to deliver sustained revenue and earnings growth for its portfolio companies.
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About Nuremberg Institute for Market Decisions (NIM)
The Nuremberg Institute for Market Decisions is a non-profit institute for the research of consumer and market decisions. At the interface between science and practice, the NIM generates new and relevant insights that aid better decision-making and better understanding of consequences. The NIM examines how decisions of consumers and company decision-makers change in the face of new trends, technologies and socio-political shifts.
The Nuremberg Institute for Market Decisions is the founder and anchor shareholder of GfK SE.
KKR is a leading global investment firm that offers alternative asset management as well as capital markets and insurance solutions. KKR aims to generate attractive investment returns by following a patient and disciplined investment approach, employing world-class people and supporting growth in its portfolio companies and communities. KKR sponsors investment funds that invest in private equity, credit and real assets and has strategic partners that manage hedge funds. KKR’s insurance subsidiaries offer retirement, life and reinsurance products under the management of Global Atlantic Financial Group. References to KKR’s investments may include the activities of its sponsored funds and insurance subsidiaries.
For additional information about KKR & Co. Inc. (NYSE: KKR), please visit KKR’s website at www.kkr.com and on Twitter @KKR_Co.