NEWS8 July 2010

Mode and Kynetec become wholly owned GfK subsidiaries

Europe M&A

GERMANY— GfK has increased its stakes in majority-owned business GfK Mode in India and GfK Kynetec in the UK, taking full ownership of both subsidiaries.

Consumer and social research agency Mode has been part of the GfK Group since 2006, when GfK bought a 51% shareholding. It is led by managing director Debi Basu and works with clients including Colgate Palmolive, McDonald’s, Hewlett Packard and Nestlé.

GfK said that in March Mode was awarded “the lion’s share” of the Indian government’s annual health survey. The contract will run for three years and has an annual budget of €2.4m, according to a statement.

Meanwhile, in the UK, the Kynetec business has become wholly owned following a multi-staged acquisition. GfK first bought in to the agricultural and animal health market research agency – then known as Dmrkynetec – in 2008. It upped its 26% shareholding to 75% in 2009 and bought the remainder of the business last month.

GfK subsidiary IFR also recently raised its shareholding in retail shelf-monitoring business Shopping Brasil, from 25% to 76%. New business have also been established in Kenya and Saudi Arabia, and with the opening of the latter GfK has reportedly become the first foreign market research company to be granted a licence to open a branch in the country.

“Even minority stakes in Saudi companies have only been possible to a limited extent for foreign investors up to now,” said a statement. Ranabir Sen has been named managing director of GfK Custom Research Saudi Arabia in addition to his role as MD of GfK Middle East in Dubai.

The new Kenyan office, based in Nairobi, operates under the name GfK Retail & Technology East Africa and is led by MDs Gunter Redwitz and Herwig Rubin.


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