Advent’s NielsenIQ agrees to merge with KKR-backed GfK

Advent International will be the majority shareholder in the combined company, Nuremberg Institute for Market Decisions and KKR will retain minority stakes.

  • Advent acquired NielsenIQ in 2021
  • GfK was spun out from NIM in 1984 with NIM being the company’s majority shareholder
  • KKR took GfK private alongside NIM in 2017

NielsenIQ, an Advent International portfolio company, and GfK, a KKR portfolio company, have agreed to merge. The deal is expected to complete in the fourth quarter of 2022 or first quarter of 2023. Advent International will be the majority shareholder in the combined company. Nuremberg Institute for Market Decisions (NIM) and KKR will remain invested as minority shareholders.

The merger will give the combined company a global footprint that it hopes will open new opportunities for growth.

NielsenIQ is a global information services company that offers insight around consumer and retail measurement, including predictive analytics. GfK is a German provider of data and intelligence to the consumer goods industry that was founded in 1934.

Advent acquired NielsenIQ in 2021, while KKR took GfK private alongside NIM in 2017 to support GfK’s strategic transformation and build a platform for its sustainable growth. Since GfK’s spin-off from NIM in 1984, NIM has been the company’s majority shareholder and will remain one of the shareholders of the combined company.

“We strongly believe that GfK coming together with NielsenIQ is a transformative combination that allows GfK to proceed on its growth and innovation trajectory at an even faster pace,” said Philipp Freise, partner and co-head of European private equity at KKR.

“We see tremendous potential to build on the two companies’ strong brands and cutting-edge platforms,” said Chris Egan, managing partner at Advent. “Given the capabilities and resources of the soon-to-be combined entity, we are confident in our ability to build a truly global leader in consumer and retail data. We aim to further scale the business and advance its position across established and emerging markets.”

“GfK and NielsenIQ, two top players in market research, have almost 200 years of combined experience,” said Manfred Scheske, president of NIM. “We see the combination of their complementary strengths as a unique opportunity, creating exciting new business opportunities for both parties.”