Doughty Hanson Interested in Synovate

Buyout shop Doughty Hanson is interested in buying Synovate, the market research unit of British marketing company Aegis, Reuters reported, citing a story in the Sunday Telegraph. Wyvern Partners is acting as financial advisor to the firm, Reuters said. Aegis had said last week that it was in talks with French group Ipsos about a sale. The Telegraph reported that Aegis was close to selling Synovate to Ipsos for about 520 million pounds ($835 million).

(Reuters) – Private equity firm Doughty Hanson is interested in buying Synovate, the market research unit of British marketing company Aegis , the Sunday Telegraph said.

The newspaper said Wyvern Partners was acting as Doughty Hanson’s financial adviser and quoted Wyvern co-founder Anthony Gahan complaining that Aegis had not engaged with it for talks.

Aegis said on Wednesday it was in exclusive talks to sell Synovate to French group Ipsos .

“There has been no real desire to engage with us. We do not believe that there has been an exercise to test the market value of Synovate,” Gahan was quoted as saying.

The Sunday Telegraph, without citing sources, said Aegis was close to selling Synovate to Ipsos for about 520 million pounds ($835 million) and that Doughty Hanson had assessed the business and believed it to be worth around 600 million pounds.

Aegis and Doughty Hanson declined to comment, while Wyvern could not immediately be reached.

A person familiar with the matter said Aegis refused to play the process out in public because it was in exclusive talks with a trade buyer and focused on delivering value for its shareholders. ($1 = 0.622 British Pounds) (Reporting by Mark Potter; Editing by Louise Heavens)