STG buys Simmons, also STG-backed Connexity acquires Hitwise

Symphony Technology Group has acquired consumer research company Simmons. Also, Connexity Inc, which is backed by STG, will acquire Hitwise, a provider of online clickstream data collection and consumer behavioral analytics. The combined price of the two transactions were $46.5 million plus a further potential amount of up to $5 million based on an earnout.


Palo Alto (December 14, 2015) Private equity firm Symphony Technology Group (STG), today announced that it has acquired Simmons, a leading consumer research company for more than 60 years. Known for its National Consumer Study (NCS), Simmons measurement of consumer preferences, attitudes and media behaviors is used by leading brands, agencies and media companies to power effective cross-channel consumer engagement.

Simmons will transition over the course of 2016 to operate as a standalone business, under the brand Simmons Research, within the Symphony Technology Group portfolio.

“Simmons’ core focus and vision is built on measurement science to efficiently and effectively measure consumer and media behavior by bringing together survey and passively collected data. With STG, we will accelerate this measurement vision to address the challenges in measuring today’s dynamic connected consumer,” said Pat Pellegrini, Ph.D., GM of Simmons Research. “We found immediate alignment on our vision and synergies with STG. They have a tremendous track record of innovation in the market research and marketing science industry. STG’s investment will allow us to further our continued leadership in consumer research and drive exciting new initiatives including brand momentum studies, consumer life stage analyses and targeted new media and connected device studies.”

Through NCS, Simmons provides unique and in-depth insights on over 8,000 brands, 500 product categories, comprehensive cross-media measurement and is considered the gold standard in US Hispanic consumer measurement. Recently, through their Simmons Connect cross-device passive measurement panel, Simmons added cross-platform measurement of 11 different platforms including Internet, mobile and tablet devices. In addition to NCS, Simmons offers a broad array of research products including cross-platform consumer profiles, local market reports to a zip code level, multi-media engagement studies, new and emerging media and device usage along with advanced custom studies.

“With the tremendous changes affecting the digital and media landscape, we believe high quality, foundational, and extensible data like Simmons are critical to understand the dynamic multi-dimensional consumer. Rich data, projectable samples and strong methodology are the hallmarks of Simmons and the building blocks of effective consumer research, media planning, measurement, and activation.” said JT Treadwell, Managing Director of STG. “We intend to work with the excellent team at Simmons to extend their capabilities, enriching depth, frequency, digital extensibility – and enabling actionability across devices. And as the media consumption fragments across channels, we believe there will be very compelling intersections between the depth of Simmons measurement and the real-time video measurement that we are building with Symphony Advanced Media. We anticipate an exciting road ahead to extend Simmons’ capabilities as a world class consumer research company,” he added.

In a simultaneous transaction, Connexity Inc, a STG portfolio company, will also acquire Hitwise, a leader in large-scale online clickstream data collection and consumer behavioral analytics. Hitwise offers broad audience-based insights into consumer online behavioral trends bolstering Connexity’s capability to offer marketers, agencies and publishers unmatched ability to understand, reach and acquire their target customer. Simmons and Hitwise recently launched audience segmentation and behavioral analytics platform, AudienceView. AudienceView provides companies with a comprehensive view of demographic, psychographic, transactional and behavioral insights on their target consumers, including visibility into behavior patterns by device type, such as mobile phones. Hitwise will operate as a division within Connexity.
Terms of the two transactions in aggregate were $46.5 million plus a further potential amount of up to $5 million based on an earnout.

About Simmons Research ( Simmons Research is a leading cross-channel consumer research company for more than 60 years. Simmons Research measures consumer preferences, attitudes and media behaviors by closely overlaying survey and passively measured data using advanced measurement sciences. Simmons empowers leading brands, agencies and media companies engage effectively with their consumers using rich demographic, psychographic, attitudinal, intent and behavioral data across devices.

About Symphony Technology Group ( Symphony Technology Group (STG) is a strategic private equity firm with the mission of investing in and building great technology and services companies. In addition to capital, STG provides transformation expertise to enable its companies to deliver maximum value to their clients, to drive growth through innovation, to retain and attract the best talent and to achieve best in class business performance. STG’s current portfolio consists of 19 global companies. For more information, please visit