Taylor Nelson Sofres is closing in on a deal to relieve Interpublic Group of market research unit NFO WorldGroup.

Interpublic has begun exclusive negotiations with TNS, which previously appeared to have dropped out of the race. However, it is reportedly now in pole position with the highest bid.

The price on the table is said to be around $500 million (€459m; £317m). Also bidding are United Business Media and Aegis Group.

NFO posted revenues of $466m last year, while TNS, the world’s number three research group, posted sales of $977m.

Data sourced from: New York Times; additional content by WARC staff