Ipsos buys Mori in £88m deal
UK polling and MR agency Mori is giving up its much-vaunted independence in an £88m acquisition by global research group, Ipsos.
The purchase will almost double Ipsos' revenues in the UK and make it the second largest agency in the country based on the British Market Research Association's 2004 league table.
Mori had revenues of £44.2m in 2004, with an operating profit of £5.6m. Ipsos' UK revenues for the same period were £49.4m.
Ipsos has been looking to develop its public opinion and public affairs research capability in the UK for some time, and a tie-up with Mori was long-touted as an attractive proposition for the group.
It began talks about a possible takeover of Mori in the summer of 2003. At the time, Mori was in the midst of its second management buyout, which ended with venture capitalists Isis Equity Partners acquiring just under 50% of the company.
The deal announced today will see the two companies merged to form Ipsos Mori, to be lead by Ipsos' UK chief executive Richard Silman, who becomes executive chairman of the new entity. He will also be responsible for the media research business of the combined company.
Mori chief executive, Brian Gosschalk will oversee all other areas of research and operations, while Mori founder Bob Worcester will take on a new role as chairman of the Ipsos Public Affairs global advisory board.
Worcester stepped down as chairman and became life president of Mori in July this year. He was replaced by Andrew Likierman, who – following the acquisition – will continue to act as a consultant to Ipsos Mori.
Ipsos is hoping to reap annualised cost-savings of £1.2m from the deal, while one-off restructuring costs associated with the merger are expected to be at an equivalent level.