Kantar deepens data pool with Numerator acquisition reportedly valued at $1.5B

Dive Brief:

  • Kantar reached an agreement to acquire Chicago-based market intelligence company Numerator from investment firm Vista Equity Partners, according to a news release. The deal, expected to close in the third quarter, is valued at $1.5 billion, sources familiar with the matter told Reuters.
  • Through the transaction, Kantar gains Numerator’s digital panel of over 1 million U.S. consumers, which will complement its U.S. Ad Intelligence unit. The companies’ combined offering aims to provide insights on the shopping behaviors of nearly 5 billion global consumers.
  • The acquisition could help Kantar better compete with companies like Nielsen as data and analytics continue to be a major investment area for brand marketers.

Dive Insight:

Kantar is looking to deepen its data pool at the global level with the acquisition of rival Numerator. The deal is intended to strengthen both Kantar’s U.S.-focused Ad Intelligence unit and Worldpanel, the latter of which offers currency grade data on consumers in more than 45 countries outside of North America, per the release.

Numerator will continue to act as a standalone business in the near term, but Kantar plans to eventually combine the firm’s technology, methodologies and data with that of Ad Intelligence and Worldpanel. Numerator’s expertise in analytics and market research could be valuable to Kantar as marketers try to navigate a particularly volatile period for consumer behavior and new considerations in digital marketing like the deprecation of third-party cookies. Numerator recently created shopping indexes and trackers around the reopening economy and vaccinated consumer habits.

The deal stands to be among the most significant conducted by Kantar since Bain Capital took over majority ownership of the company from WPP in 2019. Kantar has been busier offloading other aspects of its business, including selling paid search solution AdGooroo to Adthena back in January. In December, it sold its global Health division to Cerner in an all-cash transaction valued at $375 million. But more M&A has been expected of Kantar since the Bain takeover, while the broader market for acquisitions is heating up as the pandemic sorts marketing winners and losers. Budgets for acquisitions were limited at WPP, Kantar executives previously said.

A slimmed-down Kantar operation has centered more squarely on data and analytics and how those technology areas intersect with traditional brand consulting. Last March, Kantar snapped up the data-driven marketing consultancy Mavens of London in its first bit of M&A under Bain.

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