NEW YORK – New Mountain Capital (“New Mountain”) and Vestar Capital Partners (“Vestar”) today announced the signing of a definitive agreement through which Vestar will lead a new investment in Information Resources, Inc. (“IRI”). IRI has been a New Mountain portfolio company since 2011. Terms of the agreement, which is expected to close in the fourth quarter of 2018, were not disclosed. Post-transaction, New Mountain and Vestar will jointly govern IRI.
IRI is a fast-growing, innovative, global provider of data and predictive analytics that help fast-moving consumer goods, OTC health care, retail, financial services, and media companies accelerate growth. Jeffrey Ansell, a Vestar Senior Advisor and IRI Board member since 2011, will serve as Chairman of IRI. New Mountain and other existing investors are retaining a meaningful investment in IRI.
“The IRI management team, led by CEO Andrew Appel, has a proven track record of partnering with clients to leverage data, technology, and cutting-edge ideas to help achieve better business results,” said Mr. Ansell. “Working with Andrew and this talented management team, as well as with New Mountain and Vestar, we can continue to realize the strong client impact and value creation potential of this business.”
“Since New Mountain invested in IRI, we have transformed our business through significant investments in leading-edge technology and built a partner network of more than 100 companies,” said Andrew Appel, CEO of IRI. “We’re excited about the new relationship with Vestar, which will further strengthen IRI’s ability to provide superior client service, particularly given Vestar’s experience in consumer goods, data and information technology. With the additional support, IRI will have even more resources at our disposal to help clients deliver profitable revenue growth.”
“IRI’s accelerating top-line performance, long-term customer relationships, and stable margins make for a highly attractive financial profile,” said Norm Alpert, Co-President of Vestar. “IRI’s sophisticated data and predictive analytics offerings are unique and the value to clients has been proven again and again. We see meaningful upside through continued improvement and investment in innovative insights for clients as well as expansion both organically and through strategic acquisitions.”
“We are confident in the tremendous growth prospects for this business,” said Mat Lori, Managing Director at New Mountain. “With the ‘Liquid Data’ family of solutions enabling its blue-chip customer base to drive growth most effectively, connect with customers, and capture greater market share, our conviction in the long-term value creation potential for IRI remains strong.”
Kirkland & Ellis served as legal counsel to Vestar. Evercore, Morgan Stanley, and Jefferies acted as financial advisor and Fried Frank served as legal counsel to New Mountain and IRI. Jefferies Financial Group, Nomura Securities and Ares Management provided committed financing for the transaction.
IRI is a leading provider of big data, predictive analytics and forward-looking insights that help CPG companies, OTC health care organizations, retailers, financial services and media companies grow their businesses. With the largest repository of purchase, media, social, causal, and loyalty data, all integrated on an on-demand, cloud-based technology platform, IRI helps to guide its more than 5,000 clients around the world in their efforts to remain relentlessly relevant, capture market share, connect with consumers, and deliver market-leading growth. A confluence of major external events — a revolution in consumer buying, big data coming into its own, advanced analytics and automated consumer activation — is leading to a seismic shift in drivers of success in all industries. For more information on IRI, please visit www.iriworldwide.com.
About New Mountain Capital
New Mountain Capital is a New York-based investment firm that emphasizes business building and growth, rather than debt, as it pursues long-term capital appreciation. The firm currently manages private equity, public equity, and credit funds with more than $20 billion in assets under management. New Mountain Capital seeks out what it believes to be the highest quality growth leaders in carefully selected industry sectors and then works intensively with management to build the value of these companies. For more information on New Mountain Capital, please visit www.newmountaincapital.com.
About Vestar Capital Partners
Vestar Capital Partners is a leading U.S. middle-market private equity firm specializing in management buyouts and growth capital investments. Vestar invests and collaborates with incumbent management teams and private owners to build long-term enterprise value, with a focus on Consumer, Healthcare, and Business Services & Industrial Products. Since its founding in 1988, Vestar funds have completed more than 80 investments in companies – as well as more than 200 add-on acquisitions – with a total value of approximately $50 billion. For more information on Vestar, please visit www.vestarcapital.com.