Retail and FMCG Research Leaders IRI and NPD to Merge


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

Combination of companies will create a global technology, analytics and data provider that provides customers with a holistic view of retail buying and consumption trends, powered by advanced and predictive analytics on the platform IRI Liquid Data technology.

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 not to be identified because the terms are private.

“This combination is a win for IRI, NPD, our customers and our teams as we bring two industry leaders together to deliver a complete store view,” said Kirk Perry, President and CEO of IRI. “We look forward to joining forces with the NPD team, which brings expertise to parts of the store that IRI does not cover today. As the global retail landscape continues to evolve, IRI and NPD will have the innovative technology, analytics, data resources, talent, and geographic reach to best support the growth of key global brands and retailers. Our combined organization will be well positioned to continue to innovate and succeed, backed by the expertise and resources of our new majority investor, Hellman & Friedman, alongside our long-standing 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 customers the tools and insights they need to succeed in the face of changing consumer behavior. NPD and IRI share similar customer-focused, innovative and collaborative cultures, which makes this combination a natural fit.

By bringing together complementary data assets across a wide range of industries on a sophisticated data visualization platform, the combined business will enable brands and retailers to collaborate, better serve their customers, respond to trends and leverage more powerful insights to drive growth. NPD provides market intelligence and consulting services for general merchandise, including softlines, technology and retail, as well as food service and consumer. This will be combined with IRI’s market measurement, supply chain and media optimization solutions, technology platform, retailer relations and data assets for the CPG industry, which encompasses 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 holding company H&F NPD. H&F will lead an ownership group comprised of existing long-term IRI investors, Vestar Capital Partners (“Vestar”) and New Mountain Capital (“NMC”), both of which will retain significant investments in the combined company. Following the closing of the transaction, H&F, Vestar and NMC will each be represented on the combined company’s board of directors. Kirk Perry will become CEO of the combined company and serve on the board of directors. NPD executive chairman Tod Johnson will serve as chairman of the combined company’s board, and Karyn Schoenbart will also join the board. Jeff Ansell, current Chairman of IRI, will also continue to serve on the combined company’s Board of Directors. 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 acting as financial advisors to IRI, and Kirkland & Ellis LLP is acting as legal advisor. Jefferies Group LLC is the exclusive financial advisor to NPD and H&F, and Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP is the legal advisor. Kramer Levin is legal counsel to Johnson and Schoenbart.


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