GfK Gruppe

euro adhoc: GfK AG
Mergers - Acquisitions - Takeovers
GfK Group acquires US-based ARBOR (E)

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GfK Group acquires US-based ARBOR With this acquisition, GfK moves up into the top 15 US market research companies Nuremberg, 8 March 2004 - The GfK Group has acquired the business of ARBOR Inc., USA, effective retroactively from 1 January 2004. The newly named company, GfK ARBOR, provides clients with ad hoc research services with particular emphasis on building brand equities and value through consumer insights tracking and product and service optimization technologies. The US-based GfK subsidiaries, GfK Custom Research, V2 GfK, Martin Hamblin Global Healthcare and the newly established GfK ARBOR are set to achieve aggregate sales of more than USD 110 million in the USA in 2004. This will make GfK one of the 15 major providers of market research services in the largest national marketing research market worldwide. ARBOR, which was established in 1963 and is based in Media, PA provides multinational clients in the branded goods and service industries with information and advisory services relating to ad hoc research. The company specializes in communication and brand research and executes tracking surveys on brand value and brand dynamics. ARBOR also conducts studies on market segmentation, the evaluation of brand image and corporate image and product evaluation. With 92 employees, ARBOR generated sales totalling USD 24.9 million in 2003. The Managing Directors of ARBOR, Dr. Martin R. Lautman, Dr. John Wittenbraker (President) and Joseph C. Zoll (Chief Financial Officer and Chief Operating Officer) will continue the management of the new company, whose major clients include Kraft Foods, Verizon, Gillette, Bank of America, Coca-Cola/Minute Maid and Hershey. With the establishment of GfK ARBOR, the GfK Group has implemented a further major step in its strategic expansion. The move enhances the global presence of GfK’s Ad Hoc Research division and strengthens the Group’s position in the largest marketing, advertising and market research country in the world by spend. In 2003, the USA represented the biggest and most complex national industry for market research, with a global share of the sector of 38 per cent, or USD 6.3 billion. The USA’s advertising sector also boasts the highest volume worldwide, accounting for almost 45 per cent of USD 323 billion ad-spend in total in 2003. By acquiring ARBOR, which is well regarded for its image and brand research, GfK has succeeded in raising its profile as a provider of research services in the advertising and marketing sector, a very strong segment of the US market. The range of services offered by GfK ARBOR considerably strengthens GfK’s overall business activities in the US market. The GfK Group is now in a position to provide strong branding research as well as customer loyalty and consultancy services to decision-makers in marketing via GfK Custom Research, which became part of the GfK Group in 1999. Thanks to Martin Hamblin Global Healthcare, which joined the Group in 2001, and V2 GfK, acquired in 2003, GfK is also the leading provider of pharma market research in the USA. In addition, GfK has a 25 per cent stake in NPD Intelect, a company which collects data on the sales of electronic consumer goods in the USA. In 2004, overall, the GfK Group’s fully consolidated US-based companies are forecast to generate sales in excess of USD 110 million. As a result, the GfK Group would become one of the top 15 providers of market research services in the USA.

end of announcement            euro adhoc 08.03.2004
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Further inquiry note: Bernhard Wolf Tel.: +49 (0) 911 395 2012 E-Mail: bernhard.wolf@gfk.de

Branche: Consultancy Services
ISIN:      DE0005875306
WKN:        587530
Index:    CDAX, Classic All Share, Prime All Share, Prime Standard, SDAX
Börsen:  Frankfurter Wertpapierbörse / official dealing



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