Market research giants merge to form GfK-TNS

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GfK and TNS are moving forward on a "merger of equals," to be completed 4Q, 2008, pending board approvals.  The announcement was made on June 3. 

Hajo Riesenbeck, currently chairman of GfK's supervisor board, will become GfK-TNS chairman of the board. Donald Brydon, currently TNS chairman of the board, will become the senior independent director. David Lowden, chief executive of TNS, will retain his title, as will Christian Weller von Ahlefeld, chief financial officer at GfK.

GfK-TNS will operate in 111 countries, with a global head office in London, and a German head office in Nürnberg, according to the announcement.

Upon full acceptance of the deal, TNS shareholders and GfK shareholders will each hold approximately 50% of the share capital of GfK-TNS following completion of the merger.

The company statement emphasizes GfK's strength in Central and Eastern Europe, complemented by TNS's coverage of Asia Pacific, among other benefits, such as “specific expertise in key client sectors combined with industry-leading research expertise.”

The proposed merger was first announced in April.

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