LONDON, April 19 (Reuters) - British market research firm
Kantar is in final talks to buy U.S. rival Numerator from Vista
Equity Partners in a deal worth about $1.5 billion, two sources
with knowledge of the discussions told Reuters.
The deal, expected to be announced imminently, will see
Kantar taking full control of the U.S. firm which specialises in
providing market intelligence and has been backed by buyout fund
Vista since 2017, the sources said
Kantar declined to comment. Vista was not immediately
available for comment.
Kantar, a former unit of media giant WPP, will use
the deal to boost its global presence - particularly in the U.S.
consumer panel section of the market - and better compete with
rivals including Nielsen and Information Resources Inc (IRI)
which teamed up as part of a joint venture deal in 2009.
Numerator will help Kantar gain access to a wider pool of
consumers in the United States where it collects purchasing data
from more than a million contributors.
Bain Capital bought about 60% of Kantar in 2019 in a deal
that valued the business at about $4 billion while WPP retained
a 40% stake.
In the event of a cash and stock transaction WPP would have
to invest along with Bain to avoid being diluted and keep its
40% equity holding in Kantar, one of the sources said.
(Reporting by Pamela Barbaglia and Kate Holton; Additional
reporting by Paul Sandle; Editing by Edmund Blair)