Apax and GfK Circle Synovate

(Reuters) UK private equity group Apax Partners and market research firm GfK are circling Synovate, the market research arm of Britain’s Aegis.

The Daily Telegraph said Aegis Group Plc could decide to sell Synovate after a structural review, or the unit could be spun off if Aegis merges with French rival Havas SA.

The Telegraph said Apax has been assessing Synovate for weeks while Germany’s GfK AG had held informal discussions with advisers.

It said the two had jointly tried to acquire Taylor Nelson Sofres last year, eventually losing out to WPP Plc, but may not join forces again.

An Aegis spokeswoman declined to comment. Apax and GfK did not immediately return requests for comment.

(Reporting by Quentin Webb and Kate Holton)