Aegis may sell Synovate to Ipsos

UK media buying group Aegis is in talks to sell its market research division, Synovate, to the Paris-based market research firm Ipsos, The Independent reported today. Analysts have said the deal could be worth £500 million.

On news of the impending sale, Aegis shares were up 7 percent, closing at 151p – the highest since April 2007.

In 2005, Sir Martin Sorrell’s WPP and the French Publicis Groupe both considered buying the division, with WPP later going on to pay £1 billion for research group TNS in 2008, MediaGuardian noted yesterday. Today both firms said they will also bid on Synovate, but they could be interested in buying assets of Aegis, should the Synovate sale “trigger a full breakup.”

Aegis Media includes Carat, Mitchell & Partners, Isobar, Viseum, Posterscope, iProspect and Synovate. Selling Synovate means Aegis would likely shift focus solely to its media businesses, AdNews explained.

Synovate has offices in more than 60 countries.

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