Taylor Nelson Sofres PLC
03 March 2008
3 March 2008
TNS extends digital capability through acquisition of Compete
Taylor Nelson Sofres plc (TNS), a world leader in market information and
insight, announces that it has agreed to acquire Compete, Inc., a leading
digital intelligence company, for an initial cash consideration of US$75
Compete's revenue for the year ended 31 December 2007 was $14.9 million, over 50
per cent higher than in the previous year. Gross assets at that date were $11.2
million. The company made a loss of $4.5 million in 2007, as it invested in
building its panel and industry expertise. Dependent on the achievement of
demanding revenue performance targets, deferred cash payments will be payable in
2008-2010, up to a maximum of $75 million.
This acquisition brings together the global market information strength of TNS
with Compete's digital intelligence products and capabilities. Digital
intelligence combines data on user behaviour and interactions on the internet
with demographic and competitive information, to help businesses and marketers
make critical, strategic and tactical business decisions.
Through this acquisition, TNS will provide clients with new and valuable
insights into how online consumer behaviour affects purchasing decisions,
enabling clients to improve their marketing effectiveness, both online and
offline. Together, TNS and Compete will provide consumer, brand and media
research and measurement services that will help businesses succeed in the
digital marketing environment.
Compete conducts continuous analysis of internet clickstream data from close to
2 million people, weighted to match the US online population. This information
is used to measure how consumers consider, engage with and buy a client's
products or services online, relative to those of its competition. This ability
to analyse online behaviour before a purchase is made enables Compete to advise
clients on how to target online communications to individual consumers, to
influence both their online and offline purchasing behaviour.
As internet usage and e-retailing increases, clickstream data is expected to
become a significant information source around which market research and
analysis is based. Recent estimates suggest that the US market in which Compete
operates will grow from $325 million in 2007 to $500 million in 2009(1).
TNS will apply Compete's ability to profile, measure and segment the online
behaviour of consumers to its own 6th dimension access panels. This will start
in the US, where TNS has a fully managed access panel of more than one million
people and will then be extended across its network. This will give TNS an
unmatched ability to provide insight based on online and offline behaviour and
on consumer attitudes.
(1) Morgan Stanley research and Jupiter Research estimates of on-demand US web
David Lowden, Chief Executive of TNS, said: "This acquisition is an important
move for TNS that builds on our ability to help clients understand consumer
behaviour in the new and highly complex digital world. Compete has built a
world-class digital intelligence capability that delivers multiple perspectives
on how consumers engage with brands online. Its strength lies in its ability to
provide competitive analysis of individuals' online behaviour, a rapidly growing
section of the market that has enormous potential.
"TNS will enhance this offering by putting it together with the understanding of
consumer attitudes and behaviour that we gain from our access panels. We will
use our network to offer this powerful combination to clients across the globe.
In the longer term, we will look at the opportunities to add further value by
using our Worldpanel, Retail & Shopper and audience measurement capabilities to
integrate data on purchasing and viewing behaviour with internet search and
shopping behaviour. We believe this will allow TNS to develop new syndicated and
custom products, unique in our industry."
Donald McLagan, Chairman and CEO of Compete, said: "We welcome this exciting
opportunity to join one of the world's most respected market information and
insight groups. Whether consumers buy online, or simply research online as they
reach a purchasing decision, the marketing platforms they encounter bring major
opportunities for brands. Companies need to understand how the internet affects
consumer preferences, attitudes, knowledge, understanding and motivation. They
also need help in maximising the new online sales and marketing opportunities to
target their prospective customers more effectively. For the first time, we have
given clients the opportunity to measure their effectiveness across all their
marketing programmes. This ability will be greatly enhanced when we are part of
Compete was founded in 2000 and is based in Boston, Massachusetts. It analyses
internet clickstream information received from its own panel and from internet
service providers. Compete uses proprietary data methodologies to normalise this
data, making it representative of the entire US online market place. It
specialises in the telecoms, media, automotive, financial services and travel
industries, with a sector-based organisation mirroring that of TNS. It also has
expertise in the field of online search evaluation. Current management will
remain with the company. Clients, which include some of the world's best-known
brands, are engaged on a subscription basis, with analysis provided weekly or
monthly. The company has won a range of awards, including the Deloitte
Technology Fast 50 two years in a row, the US Advertising Research Foundation
David Ogilvy Award and the AdAge Power 150.
TNS is acquiring Compete primarily from a consortium of private venture capital
For more information about Compete, visit www.competeinc.com
For further information, please contact:
Jean-Michel Portier, Head of TNS Media +33 130 74 81 81
Janis Parks, Head of Investor Relations +44 (0)20 8967 1584
Pamela Small, Brunswick +44 (0)20 7404 5959
TNS is a global market information and insight group.
Its strategic goal is to be recognised as the global leader in delivering
value-added information and insights that help its clients make more effective
TNS delivers innovative thinking and excellent service across a network of 80
countries. Working in partnership with clients, TNS provides high-quality
information, analysis and insight that improves understanding of consumer
TNS is the world's leading provider of customised services, combining sector
knowledge with expertise in the areas of Product Development & Innovation, Brand
& Communications, Stakeholder Management, Retail & Shopper and Customer
Intelligence. TNS is a major supplier of consumer panel, media intelligence and
audience measurement services.
TNS is the sixth sense of business(TM).
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