Frequent Global Cosmetic Industry contributors Information Resources, Inc. (IRI) and The NPD Group (NPD) are merging following the majority stake acquisition of IRI by NPD investor Hellman & Friedman (H&F), a private equity firm. The transaction, terms of which were not disclosed, will close in the second half of 2022.
H&F will lead an ownership group consisting of existing IRI investors Vestar Capital Partners and New Mountain Capital, which will both retain "significant investments" in the combined company.
Vestar and NMC will each have representation on the combined company’s board of directors.
Kirk Perry, current CEO of IRI, 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, current CEO of NPD, 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.
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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 the financial adviser 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.
"The combination will create a leading 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 industry-leading IRI Liquid Data technology platform," per an official announcement. "[T]he combined business will empower brands and retailers to collaborate, better service their customers, respond to trends and leverage more powerful insights to drive growth."
Kirk Perry, president and CEO of IRI, said, “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. 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 (“H&F”), 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.”