P&G in December said it would move its retail scanner data business to IRI's rival, VNU's ACNielsen Corp., effective July 1. Loss of the account, IRI's biggest, sent the company's stock plummeting to record lows, near which it continues to trade. But IRI contended it would keep some of P&G's panel, analytics and ad-hoc research services, which the new contract would appear to cover.
In morning trading, IRI shares were
Exploring strategic options
IRI in February announced it has hired the investment banking firm William C. Blair & Co., Chicago, to help it explore "strategic options," including selling the company in whole or part.
An IRI spokesman described the new P&G deal as covering retail measurement, consumer insights and retailer insights -- though he would not comment on whether the scope of such business was the same as it had been before P&G moved its main retail measurement business to ACNielsen.
The deal should, however, allow IRI to provide guidance on revenue and earnings for 2003 when it announces earnings April 24. In February, Chairman-CEO Joseph Durrett declined to provide guidance for the full year, citing uncertainty about how much of P&G's business IRI will keep.