New Mountain Capital Completes Buy of SymphonyIRI

New Mountain Capital has completed its majority investment in SymphonyIRI Group Inc., the company announced Thursday. 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.

PRESS RELEASE
SymphonyIRI Group, Inc. announced today that an affiliate of New Mountain Capital LLC has completed its majority investment in the company, positioning it for the next phase of growth and customer-centered innovation for its blue chip roster of consumer packaged goods (CPG), retail and healthcare clients.

“SymphonyIRI is one of the world’s seven leading market research companies as measured by revenues, and one of the two global leaders serving CPG, retail, and healthcare clients”

SymphonyIRI is a global leader in innovative solutions and services for driving revenue and profit growth in CPG, retail and healthcare companies. New Mountain Capital (“New Mountain”) is a New York-based firm that currently manages private and public funds with more than $9 billion in aggregate capital commitments as of June 1, 2011, with a focus on growth equity investing and business building. New Mountain is now the majority shareholder in SymphonyIRI. Symphony Technology Group, based in Palo Alto, Calif., is maintaining a significant equity position in the company. Additional terms of the deal were not disclosed.

“The completion of this investment marks a promising new chapter in SymphonyIRI Group’s history,” says SymphonyIRI Group President and Chief Executive Officer John G. Freeland. “New Mountain brings a tremendous amount to SymphonyIRI, with a proven record of building businesses in many industries. There are many opportunities ahead for us to accelerate our business progress and to serve our clients in new and innovative ways, and New Mountain is the right strategic partner. We look forward to partnering with New Mountain to strengthen our value proposition to our clients and our people.”

In order to achieve its plans, SymphonyIRI’s management team analyzed several alternatives, including an IPO, and invited New Mountain, beginning in August 2010, to consider an investment in the company as a long-term, strategic, private equity partner. New Mountain and SymphonyIRI have worked closely together since then, and 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.

The current SymphonyIRI senior management team will remain in place with no significant changes in company operations.

“SymphonyIRI is one of the world’s seven leading market research companies as measured by revenues, and one of the two global leaders serving CPG, retail, and healthcare clients,” stated New Mountain Managing Director Mathew Lori. “SymphonyIRI is not only a leader in client service but also a technology leader in its marketplace, with innovative products, such as the ‘Liquid Data’ family of solutions. We look forward to working with management and our fellow board members and shareholders to help continue to build SymphonyIRI to even greater levels of capability and success.”

“SymphonyIRI is in an outstanding position to move forward,” stated Dr. Romesh Wadhwani, chairman, Symphony Technology Group. “New Mountain is the right partner to help build the business further, and I look forward to continuing my support for the company in every way possible, as a significant ongoing shareholder and board member.”

BMO Capital Markets acted as financial advisor to New Mountain. BofA Merrill Lynch, Jefferies Finance LLC (an affiliate of Jefferies) and BMO Capital Markets provided debt financing in connection with the transaction.

About New Mountain

New Mountain is a New York-based 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 more than $9.0 billion in aggregate capital commitments as of June 1, 2011. New Mountain seeks out the highest-quality growth leaders in carefully selected industry sectors and then works intensively with management to build the value of these companies.

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.