The NPD Group, IRI to Merge

Jacqueline Barba
Digital Editor
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Market research companies Information Resources Inc. (IRI) and The NPD Group have signed a definitive agreement to merge. The combined company will be positioned as a 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 IRI Liquid Data technology platform. 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.

By bringing together complementary data assets across industries on a data visualization platform, the combined business aims to empower brands and retailers to collaborate, better service their customers, respond to trends and leverage more powerful insights to drive growth, according to an April 7 news release.

NPD provides market information and advisory services for general merchandise, including softlines, technology and retail as well as foodservice and food consumption. These offerings 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 spans grocery, convenience and over-the-counter healthcare categories.

“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,” said Kirk Perry, president and CEO of IRI, in the release. “We look forward to joining forces with the NPD team, which brings expertise in parts of the store that IRI does not cover today. … 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.”

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 (NMC), 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.

Perry 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 also will join the board. Jeff Ansell, current chairman of IRI’s board, will continue serving 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.