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Ipsos acquires Synovate in multi million deal

NAIROBI, Kenya, Oct 13 – Research company Synovate has been acquired by French firm Ipsos for an enterprise amount of approximately Sh84 billion at current exchange rate (£525 million). 

The completion of the transaction, on September 30, occurred following the successful capital increase with preferential subscription rights of €200 million launched by Ipsos on September 8, to fund part of the acquisition price.

Ipsos sub-Saharan Africa Chief Executive David Somers said Synovate’s strong footprint in East Africa was a major reason for Ipsos’ choice to acquire the company.

“With the acquisition of Synovate we will now rank number three in the world. Specifically for East Africa, we are making an exception because Synovate has so much equity and strength and is the leading market research company in East Africa.

We therefore have decided to have a combined brand, Ipsos-Synovate for the foreseeable future,” he said.

Now officially Ipsos-Synovate, Managing Director for Kenya Maggie Ireri said the merger will broaden the presence of both companies as well as expand their portfolio of offerings.

“If I compare the two companies, they (Ipsos) are very strong in public sector research, advertising research and opinion polling. We (Synovate) are stronger on brand research and tracking,” she said.

Though opinion polling is what Synovate is best known for in the region, Ireri said it only produces less than 10 percent of Kenya’s total revenue.

The biggest earners, on the other hand, are market research that brings in 70 percent and media research bringing 20 percent.

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This is the second acquisition of the locally operating market research company, originally known as the Steadman Group before it was taken over by Synovate in 2008.

The Steadman Group that was registered in Kenya in 1983 initially began its business in media monitoring and focused on verification of radio and television advertisements, eventually diversifying the scope of its offerings to social and market research and opinion polling.

By 2008, the company had expanded to Uganda, Tanzania, Ghana, Zambia and Mozambique carrying out research in over 30 other African countries.

Ipsos-Synovate Pan Africa Executive Director Roger Steadman said the combination of Ipsos and Synovate will reshape the research industry in the region going forward.

“The Ipsos-Synovate combination comes at a particularly opportune time as there are a rapidly increasing number of international companies that are taking an active interest in Africa as an emerging continent of great opportunity.”

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