NEWS1 December 2010

Synovate takes majority stake in Russia’s Comcon

Europe M&A

RUSSIA— Synovate has agreed a deal to buy a majority stake in Moscow-based research agency Comcon, with an option to acquire the rest of the company in 2015.

Rumours of Synovate’s interest in the Russian firm, which is led by Elena Koneva (pictured) first surfaced in June this year.

Comcon reported revenue of $18.9m last year and employs 200 staff in offices in Moscow and St Petersburg.

Synovate said that it aims to establish “one of the largest market research players in Russia” through the deal.

Robert Phillpott, Synovate’s CEO, said: “The acquisition of Comcon provides Synovate with increased scale and resources, a wider range of management expertise and a more diverse client base in the Russian research market.

“Looking ahead, our significantly broader footprint in Russia will enable us to assist domestic clients to expand internationally and to support global clients in gaining access to the Russian market.”

Comcon’s founder Koneva will become managing director of the new combined business with immediate effect. She replaces current Synovate Russia MD Panicos Ioannides, who will assist in the integration process over the coming months.

Koneva said: “This will be an exciting opportunity for us, becoming part of a leading global company and integrating the best of what we already have – great clients, great people and a great culture. We will integrate the business to create an even stronger team and ensure our people are recognised as our most valuable business resource.”

Oleg Feldman will continue to lead the Comcon-Pharma healthcare business.

  • Meanwhile in the US, Synovate has appointed former Nielsen man Bruce Paul as a senior vice president in New York. Paul spent 10 years with Nielsen where he served in a number of management roles, including head of the CR/Bases division for the Western US. His new role at Synovate will see him responsible for account management and new business development on the east coast of the US.