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Britain's Synovate to take over a firm in Russia

In an effort to get a stronger footing in Russia, Britain's Synovate intends to buy out a local firm, choosing, perhaps, between MASMI Research Group, Validata and Magram Market Research, reports Kommersant.

The worth of the first one is estimated at $30 million, while the other two are evaluated at $10 million each. One of the world top ten research groups, Britain's Synovate stands ready to take over a firm in Russia in addition to its organic growth here. The company is negotiating with a few firms and the deal could be completed in the first quarter of 2008. Synovate emerged in 2003 within Britain's Aegis Group. It is represented in 50 states worldwide and has offices in Moscow and St. Petersburg. The clients are BP, Coca-Cola Co., Procter & Gamble, Samsung Electronics. Synovate's planned expansion in Russia has sprung no surprise on the local market players. “This very aggressive company that, globally, has quickly become one of the industry's leaders is actually unnoticeable in Russia,” reminded GfK-Rus General Director Alexenader Demidov. “The purchase of a local company is the simplest way to strengthen the standing.”

As to the potential acquisition, the independent players that can attract Synovate are rather scarce here. The analysts point to MASMI Research Group as the asset of greatest interest to the Brits. MASMI has the annual turnover of roughly $20 million, was set up on the basis of a Russian agency (ensures a half of the sales) and operates in nine countries of Europe, including Hungary, Serbia, Croatia and Ukraine. MASMI acquired German's Transferresearch in April and launched a Poland's office in May. Other candidates could be Validata and Magram Market Research – each of which has the annual sales of over $5 million. As to the estimated budget of the deal, Validata and Magram could cost about $10 million and the worth of MASMI Research Group is estimated at around $30 million. (