Market research firms IRI and The NPD Group to merge

The two groups that provide retail and consumer insights have announced a merger that is expected to be finalized later this year.
Zachary Russell
Associate Editor
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Two market research leaders have decided to join forces. Information Resources Inc., better known as IRI, and The NPD Group have signed an agreement to merge.

First covered by Store Brands’ sister publication Progressive Grocer, the combination of the companies will create a global technology, analytics and data provider offering clients a view of total retail purchasing and consumption trends, powered by advanced predictive analytics on the IRI Liquid Data technology platform. 

“We are excited about the prospect of combining our companies to give clients the tools and information they need to succeed amid changing consumer behavior,” added Karyn Schoenbart, CEO of The NPD Group. “Both NPD and IRI share similar client-focused, innovative and collaborative cultures, making this combination a natural fit.”

The deal, which is subject to customary closing conditions, is expected to close in the second half of 2022. Terms of the agreement weren’t disclosed. Both groups’ work includes private label sales data.

“This combination is a win for IRI, NPD, our clients and our teams as we bring together two industry leaders to offer a total store view,” said Kirk Perry, president and CEO of Chicago-based IRI. “We look forward to joining forces with the NPD team, which brings expertise in parts of the store that IRI does not cover today. As the global retail landscape continues to evolve, IRI and NPD will have innovative technology, analytics, data resources, talent and geographic reach to best support the growth of the world’s leading brands and retailers.”

Global private-equity firm Hellman & Friedman (H&F) will acquire a majority stake in IRI, and merge the company with H&F portfolio company NPD. H&F will lead an ownership group consisting of existing long-term IRI investors Vestar Capital Partners and New Mountain Capital, both of which will retain significant investments in the combined company.

Following the transaction’s, H&F, Vestar and NMC will each have representation on the combined company’s board of directors. Perry will become CEO of the combined company and serve on the board, while NPD Executive Chairman Tod Johnson will be chairman of the combined company’s board, and Schoenbart will also join the board. Jeff Ansell, currently chairman of IRI’s board, will serve on the combined company’s board as well. Johnson and Schoenbart will continue to lead NPD until the deal closes and will remain investors in the combined company.