Analytics Firms The NPD Group, Information Resources Merge

The NPD Group, a provider of market information and advisory services in more than 20 industries, including home entertainment and video games, is merging with Information Resources. The combination aims to create a global technology, analytics and data provider that offers clients a view of retail and consumption trends. The transaction, which is subject to customary closing conditions, is expected be completed in the second half of 2022. Terms of the agreement were not disclosed.

Kirk Perry, CEO of IRI, will be the chief executive officer of the combined companies, with NPD CEO Karyn Schoenbart joining the board of the combined companies. NPD executive chairman Tod Johnson will be chairman of the new 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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“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,” Perry said in a statement. “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.”

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.”

H&F, a global private equity firm, will acquire a majority stake in IRI and merge IRI with H&F portfolio company NPD. H&F will lead an ownership group consisting of existing long-term IRI investors Vestar Capital Partners and New Mountain Capital, which will both retain significant investments in the combined company.

Evercore, Goldman Sachs & Co. and Guggenheim Securities are serving as financial advisors to IRI, and Kirkland & Ellis is serving as legal counsel. Jefferies Group is serving as exclusive financial advisor to NPD and H&F, and Simpson Thacher & Bartlett is serving as legal counsel. Kramer Levin is serving as legal counsel to Johnson and Schoenbart.