The NPD Group (NPD) announced that Hellman & Friedman (H&F), the private equity firm, has made a binding offer and entered into an exclusive agreement to acquire the company.

NPD Executive Chairman Tod Johnson and CEO Karyn Schoenbart will retain a minority stake in the business and continue to serve on its board of directors.

“As a leading source of market information and advisory services for general merchandise and food service, NPD is committed to helping our clients and the industries we serve achieve data-driven growth for many years to come,” said Johnson. “H&F shares our focus on long-term growth and has the resources and expertise to not only continue but also accelerate NPD’s momentum and long track record of success. Both Karyn and I are delighted to have the opportunity to partner as minority investors alongside H&F as we work in close collaboration on a long-term strategic plan and transition over time to the next generation of NPD leadership.”

H&F made a binding offer and entered into an exclusive agreement to acquire NPD.

“In a period of rapid change, NPD has helped guide our clients with omnichannel data, industry expertise, and analytics to help them understand unprecedented market shifts,” said Schoenbart. “It has been exciting to play an increasingly important role in the strategies of our clients by providing insight into what is happening today and what to anticipate in the future. We expect H&F to continue our tradition of client partnership and innovation with new products, data sources, and next-generation platforms to make our information even more comprehensive, accessible and actionable.”

“Trusted by more than 2,000 customers in 19 countries, NPD is a market leader in its categories with an outstanding value proposition for customers and retailers. Tod and Karyn have led the company to great heights, and we look forward to working closely with them to build on this strong momentum,” said Philip Hammarskjold, executive chairman, H&F.

“Rapidly evolving consumer expectations and the growth of e-commerce are accelerating the pace of change in the retail landscape. In an environment of unknowns, the ability for companies to use omnichannel analytics to measure and improve performance is more important than ever before, and NPD is extremely well-positioned to provide these critical insights to its customers and retail partners,” said Blake Kleinman, partner, H&F.

Founded in 1966, NPD is the eighth largest market research provider worldwide, with operations in the Americas, Europe and APAC, covering more than 20 industries.

Following completion of the notification and consultation process with NPD’s employee-works council, as required by law, H&F and NPD’s shareholders are expected to enter into a definitive sale agreement. The transaction is expected to close by the end of 2021, subject to the entry into the definitive sale agreement and satisfaction of the conditions set forth therein.

Jefferies LLC is acting as exclusive financial advisor and Kramer Levin Naftalis & Frankel LLP is acting as legal advisor to NPD. Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP is acting as legal advisor to H&F.

Logo courtesy NPD