The European Commission has approved, under the EU Merger Regulation, the proposed acquisition of GfK by the Advent investment fund through NielsenIQ, a market research and data company in which the aforementioned investment fund has a majority stake.
The aforementioned approval is conditioned on the full compliance with the commitments offered by Advent, including the sale of GfK’s Consumer Panel (with the exception of operations in Russia) to an independent third party.
Some competition concerns in Germany and Italy
The EU Commission had concerns that the transaction, as initially notified, would have raised serious competition concerns (1) in the market for retail measurement services for fast moving consumer goods; and (2) in the market for consumer panel services.
The aforementioned competition concerns were related mainly with the Italian and german markets.
The Commission excludes the operation of the Consumer Panel in Russia to facilitate its sale and the subsequent departure of the company from that country due to the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
The remedies to avoid the risk of restricting free competition imposed by the European Commission in accordance with the Advent offer have no suspensive effects on the completion of the merger between NielsenIQ and GfK, so both companies will take the necessary steps to facilitate the closing of the transaction (the purchase of GfK by NielsenIQ) with no further delay, as both multinationals reported this afternoon.
The birth of an European leading provider of consumer and retailer measurement data worldwide
The merger of NielsenIQ and GfK will result in a leading provider of consumer and retailer measurement data with best in class omni-channel measurement capabilities.
The combined company will have a wide global footprint and industry coverage, creating a strong platform to deliver innovative solutions to clients and unlocking new growth opportunities.
Advent International (Advent) will be the majority shareholder in the combined company, while Nuremberg Institute for Market Decisions (“NIM”) and KKR will keep on as significant shareholders in the merged multinational. Advent had acquired NielsenIQ in 2021.
“Over the past few years, GfK has successfully navigated a digital transformation towards profitable and sustainable growth. Joining forces with NielsenIQ is now the logical next step for us and will support the next stage of development of our company,” said Lars Nordmark, GfK’s Interim CEO and CFO.“Combining with NielsenIQ will enable us to empower our clients to make smarter decisions in their organizations on a truly global scale and accelerate our journey to the next chapter of innovation. This will allow us to take advantage of important new growth opportunities.”
“Over the past year, NielsenIQ has invested both organically and inorganically in the most comprehensive coverage, advanced technologies and predictive analytics to enable our clients to gain complete insight into their consumers,” said Jim Peck, CEO of NielsenIQ. NielsenIQ. “The combination of our market-leading capabilities will allow us to further accelerate innovation that best serves our broad customer base, and deliver significant value to all of our audiences. Together with GfK, we have the opportunity to influence the future of global consumer and retailer measurement, in a fast, agile and connected future.”
To obtain more information on the competition concerns of the EU Commission and the remedies to be adopted by Advent, read the post on this merger published on the Spanish edition of Eastwind Marketing (I provide a direct link to this information at the endof this post).