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NEWS11 February 2011

Nielsen acquires retail tracker MEMRB – but details sketchy

Europe M&A Middle East and Africa

CYPRUS— Nielsen has acquired the bulk of retail sales tracking firm MEMRB for a reported fee of €60m – but both companies are refusing to discuss details of the transaction.

MEMRB said it had no comment to make when contacted by Research today, and Nielsen issued a short statement confirming it had “acquired MEMRB businesses in 28 out of the 32 countries in which they operate”, but not specifying which ones.

Cyprus-headquartered MEMRB was formed in the 1970s by chairman George Vassiliou (pictured). Initially it ran services across the Middle East but later expanded its reach to cover Central and Eastern Europe. It also operates in Pakistan and North Africa.

In 1998, SymphonyIRI (then known as Information Resources) bought a 19.9% stake in MEMRB with a view to jointly developing the latter’s retail tracking business.

A spokesman for SymphonyIRI confirmed today that it had sold off its interest in MEMRB while reaching an agreement with the new owners to ensure access to MEMRB retail sales data on the same terms as Nielsen clients.

The agreement also allows SymphonyIRI to continue to field their local clients services teams as they have in the past, while a recipricol data access agreement provides each company with access to the other’s retail market data in certain countries to deliver solutions and services to multi-country clients.

@RESEARCH LIVE

4 Comments

9 years ago

It appears that now Nielsen becomes the biggest giant in retail measurement services, essentially creating a monopoly in the market for such services. Firstly God Help clients... Employees of MEMRB have been left in a lurch without knowing what the future holds for them. As of 9th February there is no longer MEMRB. Nielsen needs to make it clear to the existing employees of MEMRB if they have been acquired with the assets or will be evaluated and merged with the Nielsen Family or let go of? In any case it was not fair how Dr George Vassiliou treated his employees in the end. They were aggressively instructed by him during the course of their tenures to fight against Nielsen and in some cases were prevented from Joining Nielsen earlier. Now he sold everyone to Nielsen.This goes on to prove how indifferent the chairman was to his employees future. Its really sad to see this sort of thing happen but this is life and we have to deal with situations like this eventually sometime.

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9 years ago

Had been hearing about it since long yet the news was still upsetting. MEMRB has not disclosed the policy of acquisation to its employees and every thing is hazy at the moment. Monopoly of Nielsen in research does not sound quite an idea to me. Wonder how long the transition period will take if there did be any for local company exisitng as MEMRB here !

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9 years ago

It was a genuine business deal and chairman has rights to do it. But at least thousands of employees should be informed well in time that how will they be treated. I mean, Either Nielson will own the Human Resources as well or not or they will be compensated enough that they could run their kitchen till the next job or one day suddenly employees will be given a surprise that go home, its Nielson....................

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9 years ago

Dear colleagues, Dont worry, We are in the Middle East and same is the situation here. Waiting for a news from any of these two companies. We can expect any of these news,"Go Home"/"Join Nielsen". What about other things:-we will get anything for the service we did all these years for them?

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