NEW YORK (AdAge.com) -- Taylor Nelson Sofres this morning said it has agreed to buy NFO WorldGroup from Interpublic Group of Cos. for $400 million in cash and $25 million in stock.
Taylor Nelson Sofres in Talks to Acquire NFO
Discussion Price Reported to Be Below $500 Million
Interpublic Moves to Refinance Debt
To Sell up to $800 Million in Convertible Notes
S&P Lowers All Interpublic Debt to Junk Status
Ratings Agency Cites 'Operating Performance Challenges'
Taylor Nelson Sofres emerged as a front-runner for the research unit after it confirmed talks with Interpublic on March 31. Interpublic purchased NFO in April 2000 for $493 million in stock and assumed $180 million in debt.
U.K.-based Taylor Nelson Sofres is one of the world's largest research companies, conducting political polls and opinion surveys, monitoring Internet advertising and measuring TV audience viewership.
Interpublic's chairman-CEO, David Bell, indicated that the recent war in Iraq had played some part in altering the valuation of NFO. In a statement Mr. Bell said, "During the course of these negotiations, world events have adversely affected the top-line performance and profitability of certain project-based marketing services firms."
Additional $10 million
Goldman, Sachs & Co. represented Interpublic on the sale, which is expected to close this summer. One year after the deal closes, Interpublic is to receive an additional $10 million cash payment subject to the value of TNS' shares.
Interpublic also said it expects to realize an accounting gain of $100 million.