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Owner of Germany’s GfK eyes merger or sale – WirtschaftsWoche

Owner of Germany’s GfK eyes merger or sale – WirtschaftsWocheOwner of Germany’s GfK eyes merger or sale – WirtschaftsWoche

* GfK Verein considers options for stake – WirtschaftsWoche

 

* Nielsen, IMS Health, WPP interested – WirtschaftsWoche

* Shares in GfK jump 8.4 percent (Adds GfK declines to comment, share price after market open,
background on GfK Verein)

FRANKFURT, Aug 25 The majority owner of
Germany’s GfK is looking at strategic options for the
market research firm, including a merger or sale, German weekly
magazine WirtschaftsWoche reported on Thursday, without citing
sources.

It said U.S. rivals Nielsen Holdings and IMS Health as well as WPP unit Kantar were interested in
Nuremberg-based GfK, known for its consumer confidence indices
and TV audience ratings.

GfK Verein, the non-profit think tank that owns 56.5 percent
of shares in GfK, had no immediate comment. GfK itself, which is
worth around 1 billion euros ($1.1 billion) on the stock market,
declined to comment on the report.

Nielsen, IMS Health and WPP were not immediately available
for comment.

Shares in GfK had risen 8.4 percent to 29.80 euros by 0709
GMT, outperforming a 0.1 percent lower German small-cap index
.

The stock had slumped by more than 20 percent since it
warned of declining profitability earlier this month and its
chief executive and chairman unexpectedly decided to resign,
having fallen out with GfK Verein.

GfK Verein was founded in 1934 in response to Germany’s
economic crises of the 1920s. Its membership consists of
hundreds of companies and a few individuals who receive basic
annual statistics on the German economy for a small fee.

($1 = 0.8875 euros) (Reporting by Maria Sheahan; Additional reporting by Hans
Seidenstuecker; Editing by Madeline Chambers and Mark Potter)

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