Taylor Nelson seals global boost with 119m merger

UK market research company Taylor Nelson AGB is merging with its larger French counterpart Sofres in a 119m deal aimed at increasing both companies’ global presence and giving them access to new services.

The merged business, which has yet to be named, will be the fourth largest market research company in the world, with operations in 28 countries.

It will combine the two companies’ expertise – AGB has experience in the healthcare, media, consumer goods and business-to-business sectors and Sofres has knowledge of the automotive and telecommunications sectors.

AGB director Mike Kirkham says: “The businesses are complementary. There is hardly any area of overlap. They have got a larger geographical coverage, but we have more services.

“The merger has been driven by the needs of our customers, which are global businesses looking for consistent quality and common research.”

The merged business will have a turnover of about $440m (275m), although this is dwarfed by world leader AC Nielsen with $1,360m (850m) turnover and Cognizant with $1,220m (762.5m). In third place is the Kantar Group, with a turnover of $470m (293.75).

The merged company will be headed by AGB chief executive Tony Cowling as executive chairman and Sofres president Pierre Weill as managing director.

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