DLA Piper advises YouGov on the acquisition of GfK's consumer panel business
DLA Piper has advised international online research data and analytics technology group YouGov plc on the acquisition of GfK CP, the European Consumer Panel Business of Germany based GfK SE for a headline purchase price of EUR315 million.
YouGov is funding the acquisition through an equity placing of new ordinary shares that raised gross proceeds of approximately GBP51.2 million with the remainder of the cash consideration financed by a fully committed bridge debt facility and existing cash.
The transaction involves the carve-out of GfK’s Consumer Panels Business in relevant jurisdictions to address competition concerns raised by the EU Commission in relation to the previously announced merger of Nielsen IQ and GfK SE.
With panels in 16 European countries and a total of over 100,000 households covered, GfK’s Consumer Panel Business is considered a pan-European market leader in data collection on household purchases.
YouGov has operations in the UK, the Americas, Europe, the Middle East, India, and Asia Pacific. It has one of the world's largest research networks and its products and services draw upon a detailed understanding of more than 24+ million registered individuals to deliver accurate, actionable consumer insights.
The acquisition is subject to customary closing conditions and is expected to be completed in the second half of 2023.
YouGov was advised on this highly complex transaction by an international DLA Piper team led by UK Corporate partners Charles Severs and Andrew Davies as well as German Corporate partner Dr Moritz von Hesberg and senior associate Rune Jelte Weltz from Hamburg. Partner Mark Dwyer led on Debt Financing, partner Martin Penn on Equity Financing, partner John McKinlay on Commercial Contracts and partner Sarah Smith led on the Merger Control and Foreign Direct Investment elements of the transaction.
Sixteen countries in total were involved in the acquisition process, providing support in particular in the due diligence process with DLA Piper teams in Germany, Poland, Austria, the Czech Republic, Romania, UK, Belgium, Netherlands, Italy, Spain, Sweden and Denmark.