NEWS8 June 2018

BDRC sold to BVA

Europe M&A News UK

UK – Independent market research group BDRC has been acquired by French research and consulting group BVA, for an undisclosed amount.

BVA BDRC group shot_crop

BVA is based in Paris and is France’s third largest research and consulting group with more than 800 staff and €150m revenue. It has offices across Europe, Asia and the US.

The purchase covers all of BDRC Group’s businesses – BDRC; mystery shopping and store observation firm ESA Retail; digital agency Alligator; operations business Perspective Research Services; and qualitative recruitment and studio specialist, Viewpoint.  It will be rebranded as BVA BDRC. 

BDRC was founded in 1991 by Cris Tarrant and Ian Stevens (Tony Wornell joined a year later). BDRC bought Continental Research from Arbitron in 2008 and was then known as BDRC Continental. It dropped the Continental part of the name last year. 

Its headquarters are in London, with international offices in Washington DC, Sydney, Singapore, Jakarta, Beijing and Cape Town. 

BDRC made annual revenues of more than £25m and it has 170 staff. There will be no change in the leadership and management team of BDRC as a result of the purchase and all staff will be retained. The company described the deal as based on "business synergies and shared enterprise, not on cost savings".

BDRC CEO, Cris Tarrant (pictured, second from right), said: “While the company has been very successful with strong recent growth, to move up to the next level we need to be part of a larger organisation.  It has always been our intent that the company should only ever be sold to a business that preserves and builds on what has been achieved at BDRC and that has a similar culture.

“In BVA we are confident we have found such a partner. Our aim now is to bring to our clients the benefits of being part of a larger group, including fresh thinking in emerging areas such as behavioural economics, investment in R&D and a more extensive international network.”

Pascal Gaudin, BVA’s CEO (pictured, third from left), said: “In BDRC we see a like-minded group and together we will both progress more quickly. The acquisition of BDRC is an important step for us as we build our project of a European-based global leader in research-based consulting.”