NEWS9 June 2011

SymphonyIRI bags majority investment from New Mountain

M&A North America

US— SymphonyIRI has a new owner. The sales data and analytics firm, which works in the consumer goods, retail and healthcare sectors, has received a majority investment from private equity firm New Mountain Capital.

In a statement the firm said New Mountain’s investment would support its “next phase of growth and customer-centred innovation”.

SymphonyIRI chief John Freeland (pictured) said: “There are many opportunities ahead for us to accelerate our business progress and to serve our clients in new and innovative ways, and New Mountain is the right strategic partner. We look forward to partnering with New Mountain to strengthen our value proposition to our clients and our people.”

The company, formerly known as Information Resources, has been owned by Symphony Technology Group (STG) since 2003. STG maintains “a significant equity position” in SymphonyIRI, the firm said.

SymphonyIRI’s management have been in talks with New Mountain since August last year, but also considered floating the company as a way to raise capital to fund growth ambitions.

New Mountain signalled its commitment to SymphonyIRI in March. The firm is managing more than $9bn in capital commitments as of this month.

According to its website, it typically invests between $100m and $500m per transaction and focus on companies that boast market leadership in sustainable growth niches, with high barriers to entry and strong downside protection.

Managing director Mathew Lori said: “SymphonyIRI is one of the world’s seven leading market research companies as measured by revenues, and one of the two global leaders serving CPG, retail, and healthcare clients. It is not only a leader in client service but also a technology leader in its marketplace, with innovative products, such as the ‘Liquid Data’ family of solutions.”