NEWS1 October 2009

Macromill sells stake in AIP Corporation and buys Brand Data Bank

Asia Pacific M&A

JAPAN— Online research firm Macromill has sold its majority shareholding in Asian panel company AIP Corporation and purchased marketing database firm Brand Data Bank (BDB).

Terms of the BDB deal have not been disclosed, but AIP’s management paid ¥664m ($7.4m) for a 50.2% share in the company. Macromill retains a small stake in AIP, having previously owned 56.4% of the firm, which operates panels in China, Korea, Taiwan, Singapore, Thailand and other countries in the region.

AIP’s management was supported in the buy-out by investment firm Mizuho Capital, which will own 19.9% of the business going forward. Just over 30% of AIP’s shares will be held by its management team, but aside from Macromill, the company’s remaining shareholders are unknown.

Roy Kimura, an AIP director, said the company would maintain “a strong business alliance” with Macromill following the completion of the deal. In a statement, AIP said the two companies will jointly provide global research services in the Japanese domestic market while AIP will offer Macromill’s Japanese online panels to international markets.

News of the divestiture and acquisition follows the publication of Macromill’s results for the year ending 30 June 2009. Net sales were up 4.6% to ¥7.75bn ($86.4m), but operating income and net income were both down 19% to ¥1.7bn ($18.9m) and ¥941m ($10.5m) respectively.

The company is headed by chairman and president Tetsuya Sugimoto (pictured), who founded the business in 2000.