Addition of Full-Service Firm Will Greatly Expand Market Research
Capabilities in the UK and Europe
ROCHESTER, N.Y., and OXFORD, England, Aug. 14 /PRNewswire/ --
Harris Interactive Inc. (Nasdaq: HPOL), a leading US Internet-based market
research and consulting firm, today announced its acquisition of Market
Research Solutions Limited (MRSL), a privately owned UK company, headquartered
in Oxford, England.
Cash-and-Stock Deal Adds Employees and $8.5 Million in Revenue
The part cash and part HPOL stock deal, for an undisclosed amount, was
signed in London. As part of the agreement, Harris Interactive will hire
approximately 75 MRSL employees and will also take on their offices in Oxford,
North London and Newport, South Wales. MRSL is expected to add approximately
$8.6 million (6 million pounds) to Harris Interactive revenues for the fiscal
year 2002 which started July 1, 2001.
"We've been working closely with MRSL for a number of years now and have
always been very impressed with the work that they do," stated Dr. Gordon S.
Black, chairman and CEO of Harris Interactive. "The addition of MRSL's
traditional research activities to Harris Interactive's Internet-based
research experience will create a powerful benefit for our clients -- both in
the United States and in Europe."
About Market Research Solutions Limited
MRSL offers a full range of research and consulting services including
strategic consulting, new product testing and market opportunity
identification through its two operating divisions, Magenta and IQ+. Magenta
provides full service marketing and market research consultancy to a range of
customers in the UK and Europe; IQ+ specializes in high-quality data
collection, analysis and project management serving customers in
manufacturing, consumer services and the market research sector. MRSL has
extensive experience in serving the financial, food & drink, IT/Internet/Web,
leisure/travel/tourism, public service/utility and retail sectors.
MRSL's Management Team Strengthened
Greg Smith, currently vice president of European international development
at Harris Interactive, will assume the duties of group managing director for
MRSL. In addition to responsibility for Harris Interactive's online research
capabilities across Europe, he will also be in charge of MRSL's day-to-day
operations. Smith will report to David H. Clemm, president and COO of Harris
A new executive committee will be formed. It will be comprised of Smith
along with founder directors of MRSL: Tim Baker, managing director of Magenta,
Jon Darby, managing director of group operations and Bernard Hudson,
development director. Of the other founding directors, Roger Landells,
current chairman and CEO, is moving to a non-executive director role and Joy
Reynolds, formerly field and personnel director for MRSL, is retiring.
Under the new organizational structure, MRSL will continue to provide a
full range of traditional market research and consulting services backed by
their strong, high-quality, face-to-face and telephone data collection and
analytics resources. MRSL clients will also have access to a new
organizational platform that will be developed by Harris Interactive to
provide Internet-based research services throughout the world. This new
organization -- based on the established Harris Interactive Service Bureau
concept -- will make online research capabilities available directly to its
clients and through Harris Interactive's existing Global Network members in
Europe. In addition to the technology platform, the European Service Bureau
will be backed by Harris Interactive's own research and methodology team that
has pioneered the development of the Internet as a platform for conducting
Clemm said, "This acquisition is another step that will allow us to extend
the strength of Harris Interactive's full spectrum of experience, including
Internet-based research ability, across a much larger set of clients in the
United States and Europe. Internet-based research is an enabling technology
that will enhance the quality of research. MRSL provides the ideal base from
which to grow our European business, in concert with our existing Global
Network members, in the region."
Commenting on the acquisition, Roger Landells, chairman and CEO of MRSL
said, "Harris Interactive is in a race to expand its capabilities to conduct
international research in multiple languages at unparalleled speed and
quality. We are pleased to join our colleagues at Harris Interactive in their
efforts to transform the world of market research by providing this new
service to our clients in Europe and beyond."
New MRSL Board of Directors Announced
David Clemm, will become chairman of a new board of directors for MRSL.
He will be joined by Greg Smith, currently vice president of International
development for Harris Interactive, David Vaden, vice president of corporate
finance for Harris Interactive, and Roger Landells, who will become a
non-executive director, and be retained as a consultant to both MRSL and
At the same time, Professor Martin Callingham, visiting professor at
Birkbeck College, University of London, and formerly group market research
director for Whitbread plc., continues as a non-executive director of MRSL.
"We will benefit greatly from the caliber and experience that both Martin
and Roger will bring to our business," added Gordon Black. "Both are extremely
well-regarded in the European market and, together with the management team of
this latest acquisition, make a highly potent combination which will benefit
our customers and shareholders alike."
About Harris Interactive
Harris Interactive (Nasdaq: HPOL), is a worldwide market research, polling
and consulting firm. It is best known for The Harris Poll and its pioneering
use of the Internet to conduct scientifically accurate market research. The
Harris Interactive Internet-based forecasts for the 2000 election were the
most accurate in the history of the polling industry. With expertise in
pharmaceutical, health care, automotive, finance, ecommerce, technology,
consumer packaged goods and other markets, the firm has spent 45 years
providing its clients with custom, multi-client and service bureau research.
Through its U.S. and Global Network offices, Harris Interactive conducts
international research in multiple, localized languages. Harris Interactive
currently maintains a database of more than 7 million online panelists -- the
largest of its kind. For more information about Harris Interactive, please
visit the Company's website at http://www.harrisinteractive.com. EOE M/F/D/V
Harris Interactive(SM) is a worldwide service mark of Harris Interactive
Inc. but used in Europe with the permission of Taylor Nelson Sofres.
About Market Research Solutions Ltd.
Since its formation in 1993 as a buy-out from AC Nielsen, MRSL has grown
successfully in the UK creating a sizable business with a strong reputation
for high quality and reliable data gathering and custom research. Its UK
turnover is now over 6 million pounds ($8.6m) and it has many long-term
clients in the consumer packaged goods and services markets. It is organized
into two commercial divisions -- Magenta and IQ+. Magenta provides full
service market and marketing research consultancy to a wide range of UK and
European based clients, mainly from the consumer packaged goods, consumer
services, marketing communications and media industries. In addition, Magenta
has started to develop business in the new media and ecommerce fields in the
UK. IQ+ specializes in high quality data collection, qualitative recruitment,
data preparation, analysis and delivery. Its clients range from manufacturing
and marketing companies, UK public bodies and organizations as well as other
market research agencies. An operations division comprising CATI phone
centers, a face-to-face fieldwork organization, production, data preparation
and processing departments, supports both divisions. MRSL is quality
accredited under BS7911 by the MRQSA and formally accredited under the
Investors in People (IIP) scheme. For more information about the Company,
please visit its website at http://www.mrsl.co.uk. EOE M/F/D/V.
Safe Harbor Statement
This media release includes statements that may constitute forward-looking
information. We caution you that these forward-looking statements are subject
to risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ
materially from those discussed. Additional detailed information concerning a
number of factors that could cause actual results to differ is readily
available in the "Risk Factors" section of the most recent Annual Report on
form 10-K filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission pursuant to the
Securities Exchange Act of 1934.
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SOURCE Harris Interactive Inc.
/CONTACT: Nancy Wong, +1-716-214-7316, email@example.com, or
Greg Smith, +44-0-1865-788050, firstname.lastname@example.org, both of Harris
/Web site: http://www.harrisinteractive.com
CO: Harris Interactive Inc.; Market Research Solutions Limited
ST: New York, England
IN: CPR MLM
SU: TNM PER
-0- Aug/14/2001 6:00 GMT
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