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New Mountain Capital Backs SymphonyIRI

SymphonyIRI Group Inc. has raised an undisclosed amount from New Mountain Capital. Terms of the investment were not released. SymphonyIRI Group, formerly named Information Resources, provides software for market measurement and software and services designed to provide growth opportunities in marketing, sales, shopper marketing and category management. Jefferies & Company and BofA Merrill Lynch acted as financial advisors to SymphonyIRI. BofA Merrill Lynch, Jefferies Finance and BMO Capital Markets have agreed to provide debt financing.

PRESS RELEASE:
SymphonyIRI Group, Inc. announced today that New Mountain Capital LLC will become a major investor in the company with the investment to close in the second quarter. New Mountain Capital is a New York-based private equity firm that currently manages private and public equity investments totaling approximately $9.0 billion (as of March 31, 2011), with a focus on growth equity investing and business building.
“SymphonyIRI performed especially well in 2010 as the growth initiatives we drove enabled us to achieve a new level of value creation and engagement with our clients,” said Romesh Wadhwani, SymphonyIRI’s chairman. “We are now launching a new phase of transformation designed to further accelerate growth. Key initiatives of this new phase consist of expanding SymphonyIRI’s footprint globally to take advantage of opportunities in rapidly-growing economies, initiating a program of strategic acquisitions to complement organic growth and accelerating the pace of innovation in shopper marketing, predictive analytics and other high-potential growth areas.”

To secure the growth capital necessary to fuel these plans, SymphonyIRI’s management team analyzed several alternatives, including an IPO, and invited New Mountain Capital to invest in the company as a long-term, strategic, private equity partner. New Mountain is committed to SymphonyIRI’s long-term investment philosophy, supports the company’s growth strategy, and offers seasoned, senior advisors who provide subject matter expertise to both CPG and retail companies.

“SymphonyIRI has created an outstanding foundation on which to significantly expand the company and we support the initiatives management has identified,” said Mathew Lori, managing director of New Mountain Capital. “New Mountain has a proven track record of helping to build great businesses like SymphonyIRI to even higher levels of achievement and success. We will seek to apply our skills, capital and industry relationships to help the company achieve its growth and value generation objectives.”

Lori continued by noting elements of SymphonyIRI’s strengths. These include superior technology and new solutions that accelerate value creation, a highly-experienced management team and workforce with the expertise and talent to continue the current pace of innovation, and a base of loyal, dedicated clients resulting from the company’s intense focus on improving performance and enhancing ROI. Critical for continued success, he notes, is access to new funding and talent to complement existing management’s expertise.

There will be no changes in the operations of the company. Symphony Technology Group will retain a significant equity position. Wadhwani will remain on SymphonyIRI’s board and continue to work closely with clients. SymphonyIRI’s existing management team will remain in place and corporate and solutions branding will be unchanged. Corporate headquarters will remain in Chicago, as will European headquarters in Bracknell, U.K.

About New Mountain Capital
New Mountain Capital is a New York-based private equity firm investing for long-term capital appreciation through direct business investment in growth equity transactions and management buyouts. The firm currently manages private and public equity funds with approximately $9.0 billion in aggregate capital commitments (as of March 31, 2011). New Mountain Capital seeks out what it believes to be the highest-quality growth leaders in carefully selected industry sectors and then works intensively with management to build the value of these companies.

For more information on New Mountain Capital, please visit www.newmountaincapital.com.

About SymphonyIRI Group, Inc.

SymphonyIRI Group, formerly named Information Resources, Inc. (“IRI”), is the global leader in innovative solutions and services for driving revenue and profit growth in CPG, retail and healthcare companies. SymphonyIRI offers two families of solutions: Core IRI solutions for market measurement and Symphony Advantage solutions for enabling new growth opportunities in marketing, sales, shopper marketing and category management. SymphonyIRI solutions uniquely combine content, analytics and technology to deliver maximum impact. SymphonyIRI helps companies create, plan and execute forward-looking, shopper-centric strategies across every level of the organization. For more information, visit http://www.SymphonyIRI.com.

Jefferies & Company, Inc. and BofA Merrill Lynch acted as financial advisors to SymphonyIRI on the transaction. Davis Polk & Wardwell LLP acted as legal counsel to SymphonyIRI. Fried, Frank, Harris, Shriver & Jacobson LLP acted as legal counsel to New Mountain Capital.

BofA Merrill Lynch, Jefferies Finance LLC (an affiliate of Jefferies) and BMO Capital Markets have agreed to provide debt financing in connection with the transaction.