NielsenIQ’s Merger with GfK

Ropes & Gray LLP, Covington & Burling, Weil Gotshal & Manges LLC and Squire Patton Boggs represented NielsenIQ, while GfK was assisted by White & Case. Fieldfisher and Baker & Hostetler LLP assisted Nuremberg Institute for Market Decisions. Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP and Hengeler Mueller Partnerschaft von Rechtsanwälten mbB advised KKR.

NielsenIQ, a portfolio company of Advent International, announced its entry into a definitive agreement to combine with GfK SE. The combined business of two leaders in global information services will offer its customers new capabilities in the consumer and retail measurement industry. Powered by state-of-the-art cloud technology, the combination will bring together complementary data and analytics assets to provide a comprehensive view of shopper spending through a total store read, enabling clients to anticipate trends and react faster to consumer needs and expectations.

As part of the transaction, Advent will become the majority shareholder of the combined company. GfK’s current shareholders, the Nuremberg Institute for Market Decisions and KKR, will remain invested as significant shareholders of the combined company. The terms of the agreement were not disclosed.

J.P. Morgan Securities LLC and HSBC Securities served as financial advisors to Advent International Corporation and NielsenIQ. Rothschild & Co acted as financial advisor to Nuremberg Institute for Market Decisions. Goldman Sachs Bank Europe SE assisted KKR and Nuremberg Institute for Market Decisions.

NielsenIQ is a global information services company that delivers the gold standard in consumer and retail measurement through the most connected, complete and actionable understanding of the evolving global, omnichannel consumer. NielsenIQ’s data, connected insights, and predictive analytics optimize the performance of CPG and retail companies, bringing them closer to the communities they serve and helping to power their growth.

For over 85 years, GfK has earned the trust of its clients around the world by solving critical business questions in their decision-making process around consumers, markets, brands and media. The company’s reliable data and insights, together with advanced AI capabilities, have shaped access to real-time actionable recommendations that drive marketing, sales and organizational effectiveness of its clients and partners.

The Nuremberg Institute for Market Decisions is a non-profit institute for the research of consumer and market decisions.

The Ropes & Gray team was led by private equity partner Christian Westra (Picture) and included private equity partner Matthew Richards, private equity counsel Tony Bernard, private equity associates Konrad Thallner and Amirali Agha-Khan, tax partners David Saltzman, Chris Agnoli and Andy Howard, tax counsel Sam Duncan, executive compensation partner Jenny Rikoski, labor and employment partner Doug Brayley, strategic transactions partner Ed Black, and data, privacy & cybersecurity partner Rohan Massey.

The Simpson Thacher team included Mark Pflug, Clare Gaskell, Christian Madsen, James Campisi, Austin Uhm, Eilidh Reid and Tarek Soliman (M&A); Tristan Brown, Linda Barrett, Harry Hudesman and Guanxiong Xu (ECEB); Étienne Renaudeau, Peter Guryan, Henry Llewellyn and Sandeep Mahandru (Antitrust); Meredith Jones and William Smolinski (Tax); Adam Shapiro, Kate Sinclair, George Dyesmith and Emma Lynam (Credit); Jessica Cohen, Kate Mirino and Rachelle Broida (IP); and Steve DeLott (Insurance). Summer associate Sichen Zhang provided valuable assistance.

The BakerHostetler team was co-led by corporate partners Ryan Gorsche (Dallas) and Scott Weiser (New York). Others in the core team included, Houston counsel Allison Jones and Dallas associate Katie L. O’Brien. Assisting were partners Elizabeth Smith (tax), Lana Muranovic (international trade), Melissa Mannino (export controls), along with associates Orga Cadet (CIFIUS and foreign direct investment) and Zach Bernard (corporate).

The White & Case team was led by partners Alexander Kiefner (Frankfurt) and James Hu (New York) and included partner Matthias Kiesewetter (Hamburg), partner of counsel Lutz Krämer (Frankfurt) and associates Nico Frehse (Hamburg) and Benedikt Happ (Frankfurt).

The Hengeler Mueller team was led by Elisabeth Kreuzer (Munich) and Christian Schwandtner (Düsseldorf) (both M&A) and included partner Hendrik Bockenheimer (Employment, Frankfurt), counsel Matthias Cloppenburg (Corporate), Susanne Koch (Public Law) and Patrick Wilkening (IP/IT) (All Düsseldorf) as well as associates Tobias Schilling (Corporate/M&A, Berlin), Selina Rohr (Employment, Frankfurt), Alexander von Bernstorff, Okan Isikay (both Corporate/M&A, Düsseldorf), Tom Shingler (Financing) and Patrick Schmidt (IP/IT) (both Frankfurt). 

Involved fees earner: Zachary Bernard – BakerHostetler; Orga Cadet – BakerHostetler; Ryan Gorsche – BakerHostetler; Allison Jones – BakerHostetler; Katie Legband O’Brien – BakerHostetler; Melissa Mannino – BakerHostetler; Lana Muranovic – BakerHostetler; Elizabeth Ann Smith – BakerHostetler; Scott Weiser – BakerHostetler; Alexander von Bernstorff – Hengeler Mueller; Hendrik Bockenheimer – Hengeler Mueller; Matthias Cloppenburg – Hengeler Mueller; Okan Isikay – Hengeler Mueller; Susanne Koch – Hengeler Mueller; Elisabeth Kreuzer – Hengeler Mueller; Selina Rohr – Hengeler Mueller; Tobias Schilling – Hengeler Mueller; Patrick Schmidt – Hengeler Mueller; Christian Schwandtner – Hengeler Mueller; Tom Shingler – Hengeler Mueller; Patrick Wilkening – Hengeler Mueller; Amirali Agha-Khan – Ropes & Gray; Chris Agnoli – Ropes & Gray; Anthony Bernard – Ropes & Gray; Edward Black – Ropes & Gray; Douglas Brayley – Ropes & Gray; Samuel Duncan – Ropes & Gray; Andrew Howard – Ropes & Gray; Rohan Massey – Ropes & Gray; Matthew Richards – Ropes & Gray; Jennifer Rikoski – Ropes & Gray; David Saltzman – Ropes & Gray; Konrad Thallner – Ropes & Gray; Christian Westra – Ropes & Gray; Linda Barrett – Simpson Thacher & Bartlett; Rachelle Broida – Simpson Thacher & Bartlett; Tristan Brown – Simpson Thacher & Bartlett; James Campisi – Simpson Thacher & Bartlett; Jessica Cohen – Simpson Thacher & Bartlett; Steven DeLott – Simpson Thacher & Bartlett; George Dyesmith – Simpson Thacher & Bartlett; Clare Gaskell – Simpson Thacher & Bartlett; Peter Guryan – Simpson Thacher & Bartlett; Harry Hudesman – Simpson Thacher & Bartlett; Meredith Jones – Simpson Thacher & Bartlett; Henry Llewellyn – Simpson Thacher & Bartlett; Emma Lynam – Simpson Thacher & Bartlett; Sandeep Mahandru – Simpson Thacher & Bartlett; Kate Mirino – Simpson Thacher & Bartlett; Mark Pflug – Simpson Thacher & Bartlett; Eilidh Reid – Simpson Thacher & Bartlett; Étienne Renaudeau – Simpson Thacher & Bartlett; Adam Shapiro – Simpson Thacher & Bartlett; Kate Sinclair – Simpson Thacher & Bartlett; William Smolinski – Simpson Thacher & Bartlett; Tarek Soliman – Simpson Thacher & Bartlett; Austin Uhm – Simpson Thacher & Bartlett; Guanxiong Xu – Simpson Thacher & Bartlett; Nico Frehse – White & Case; Benedikt Happ – White & Case; James Jian Hu – White & Case; Alexander Kiefner – White & Case; Matthias Kiesewetter – White & Case; Lutz Krämer – White & Case;

Law Firms: BakerHostetler; Hengeler Mueller; Ropes & Gray; Simpson Thacher & Bartlett; White & Case;

Clients: GfK SE; KKR; NielsenIQ; Nuremberg Institute for Market Decisions;

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Author: Youness Semri