IRI Acquires Datasea

Purchase Represents Latest Step in IRI Strategy to Expand Global Footprint and Growth Capabilities in Emerging Markets; IRI Will Introduce Advanced Analytics and Consumer and Shopper Marketing Services to Chinese Manufacturers and Retailers

CHICAGO and BEIJING – April 21, 2015 – Information Resources, Inc. (IRI), the global leader in innovative solutions and services for consumer, retail and over-the-counter healthcare companies, announced today the acquisition of Datasea, one of China’s leading analytic services and market research companies, which has deep knowledge and expertise in the retail and CPG industries.

“We are building a Chinese company powered by the latest global insights, analytics and technology and bringing the latest tools and technology to this market,” said Andrew Appel, president and chief executive officer, IRI. “The agreement represents the most recent execution of IRI’s strategic commitment to dramatically increase our geographic footprint to meet the global market research needs of our clients.

“It also complements other facets of IRI’s strategic direction, including expanding our data assets and leveraging this data with advanced analytics, plus consumer and shopper marketing services that enable our clients to achieve sustained levels of more rapid growth. We look forward to integrating IRI and Datasea’s strengths to bring enhanced offerings to our clients.”
This purchase is the latest step in IRI’s growth strategy. In 2013, IRI completed the acquisition of Aztec, a leading provider of market measurement and related services in Australia, Canada, Hong Kong, New Zealand, South Africa, Sweden and the U.K. It also acquired FreshLook Marketing, which offers data and consulting services to the fresh food industry, in 2013.

Datasea is a leader in providing analytic services and market research in China. Its services center on six areas: customer research, brand research, satisfaction and loyalty programs, new product testing, advertising impact evaluation, and distribution strategy. Its concept of market research includes three elements: an unbiased and proven research methodology, experience in understanding the story behind the data, and a focus on driving actionable and pragmatic recommendations. Clients include CPG manufacturers and retailers, as well as companies in related industries, such as quick service restaurants (QSRs) and cosmetics. It maintains offices in Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou and Jinan, supported by a nationwide service network.

IRI and Datasea clients will gain significant benefits as a result of this partnership. The combined entities will build unique and powerful solutions for manufacturers and retailers based on five key areas: deep big data expertise, best-in-class technology, shopper targeting and activation, supplier collaboration and joint business planning, and commercialization of solutions. The complementary strengths of the two entities will ensure all clients receive higher-quality data and services.

Immediate plans include integrating IRI and Datasea’s existing consulting and analytics services and initiating a series of retail gateway programs designed to support retailers’ performance, basket analytics, pricing and promotion, assortment strategy, and shopper targeting. In the near term, this will expand to include market measurement, e-commerce/digital/social/mobile marketing, and media targeting and activation.

“It has been a dream of mine to bring advanced analytics and related services to the Chinese market. We are eager to bring to our clients the analytics, products and solutions IRI offers worldwide, as well as share our expertise on the rapidly growing Chinese market,” said Mr. Lyu Liangming, founder and chairman, Datasea. “We share the common goal of working with clients to help them better understand the markets they serve and convert that understanding into long-term, sustained levels of growth. Understanding today’s markets is increasingly complex, with shoppers more demanding of their manufacturers and retailers, and this acquisition will help these organizations meet these expanded needs.”

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