Exclusive-NielsenIQ’s GfK deal set for conditional EU antitrust approval


By Foo Yun Chee

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – Advent-owned NielsenIQ is set to secure EU antitrust clearance for its proposed acquisition of German market research firm GfK on the condition GfK sells its consumer panel business, people familiar with the matter said.

U.S. consumer market research company NielsenIQ, which is present in more than 90 markets covering more than 90% of the world’s population, announced the deal a year ago.

GfK’s consumer panel business covers 122,500 households and 1,800 retailers, with its data showing patterns, trends and predictions.

The European Commission, which is scheduled to complete its preliminary review of the deal by July 4, declined to comment.

The EU competition enforcer earlier this month sent a list of 21 potential buyers of the GfK unit to rivals and customers, asking for feedback on which company is considered a suitable buyer.

The list includes French peer Ipsos, the UK’s Kantar, YouGov, Dynata, Circana, Omnicon Group, Publicis Group, Cision and private equity firms such as H.I.G. Capital, Platinum Equity, Bregal, TowerBrook, Oakley Capital, Equistone, Symphony Technology Group and Montago.

An industry source, speaking on condition of anonymity, says only four-to-five of the companies on the list are in the running for GfK’s unit.

(Reporting by Foo Yun Chee; Editing by Jan Harvey and Barbara Lewis)

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