Market Researcher NOP in Line for Sell-Off

18 January 2005

UK media magnate Lord Clive Hollick's parting shot before he joins US 'barbarians' later in the year [WAMN: 13-Jan-2005] could be the sale of top-ten market researcher NOP World.

Hollick, who has been appointed by US venture capital marauder Kohlberg Karvis Roberts as managing director of it European business, is looking for around £250 million ($467m, €356m) for the pollster.

The firm, part of United Business Media of which Hollick is currently ceo, would be attractive to it's UK-based competitors such as Taylor Nelson Sofres, Aegis or WPP Group, as well as French firm Ipsos.

David Levin, who is replacing Hollick at UBM in May, is understood to be lukewarm about market research in general and NOP in particular.

Hollick's move to KKR has also fuelled speculation that he could launch a £6 billion bid for the UK's biggest commercial broadcaster, ITV.

It is reported that such an audacious assault might be made in alliance with Greg Dyke, former director-general of the state-funded broadcaster the BBC, and Stephen Grabiner, former MD of UK quality newspaper The Daily Telegraph. Both these media heavy hitters advise private equity firm Apax.

Data sourced from Brand Republic (UK); additional content by WARC staff