Ipsos MRBI deal likely to be ratified by Europe soon

The deal allowing Ipsos acquire the Market Research Bureau of Ireland (MRBI) polling and media audience measurement agency from WPP for an undisclosed sum is expected to be officially sanctioned by the European Competition Authority either later this month or by early October.
The Ipsos MRBI deal followed lengthy negotiations after WPP acquired MRBI’s parent company, Taylor Nelson Sofres (TNS), earlier this year. TNS bought MRBI in 1996, following a deal with its directors, including Jack Jones, the man who set up the agency in 1962, to become TNS MRBI.
The Paris-based Ipsos entered the Irish market by buying Mori MRC in 2005. They got the chance to expand further when the EU ruled that WPP would have to dispose of MRBI under its competition rules. WPP already owned Millward Brown Ireland group, comprising IMS and Lansdowne.
Damian Loscher, managing director, MRBI, said a decision on management roles, staffing levels and the issue of location will be made soon. MRBI and TNS are currently based in Blackrock, Co Dublin, while Ipsos works from more modest premises in the city centre.

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