Consumer retail data providers Information Resources, Inc. [IRI] and The NPD Group [NPD], announced on Thursday the signing of a definitive agreement through which the two companies will merge. The combined company looks to offer a total store view in retail purchasing and consumption trends. The transaction is expected to close in the second half of 2022. Terms of the agreement were not disclosed.
NPD provides market information and advisory services for general merchandise, including softlines, technology and retail, as well as foodservice and food consumption. This will be combined with IRI’s market measurement, supply chain, and media optimization solutions, technology platform, retail relationships, and data assets for the CPG industry, which encompasses the grocery, convenience and over-the-counter healthcare categories.
Kirk Perry, President and 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 NPD CEO Karyn Schoenbart will also join the board. Jeff Ansell, current chairman of IRI’s board, will continue on the combined company’s board as well. Tod and Karyn will continue to lead NPD until closing and will remain investors in the combined company.
In a statement Kirk said, “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, alongside our long-term partners at Vestar Capital and New Mountain Capital.”
NPD CEO Karyn 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. Following the close of the transaction, H&F, Vestar, and NMC will each have representation on the combined company’s board of directors.
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 exclusive financial advisor 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.