NEWS24 June 2011

Decision ‘very close’ on Synovate sale

Europe M&A UK

UK/FRANCE— Ipsos and Aegis are “very close to a decision” on a possible sale of Aegis’s research arm Synovate, a source at Ipsos said today.

On Tuesday The Guardian reported that two sources said the deal was “all but agreed” weeks ago, and that John Napier of Aegis and Didier Truchot of Ipsos (pictured) had met Vincent Bolloré, who owns 26.5% of Aegis, to seek his support.

The Daily Telegraph reported today that Aegis has received an expression of interest in Synovate from private equity group Cinven – but said that sources believed Aegis would not engage with another buyer at this stage. WPP and Publicis have both said they will not be making rival bids.

The two companies confirmed on 6 June that they were in talks about a possibly buyout of Synovate. Ipsos said that the discussions were being held with a view to creating “one team… under the Ipsos banner”.

Analysts have valued Synovate at around £500m. A combination of the two companies would be the world’s third-largest research business behind Kantar and Nielsen.