GfK acquires Knowledge Networks

(PresseBox) (Nürnberg, ) GfK will be acquiring 100% ownership of Knowledge Networks Inc., a leading provider of digital research solutions in the US. Through the acquisition, GfK demonstrates its commitment to drive growth, in the US and globally, by providing the highest quality research solutions, tailored to the new realities of the digital age.

Founded in 1998, Knowledge Networks is the preeminent provider of online research solutions in the US, specializing in consumer packaged goods, healthcare, retail, media, government and academics.

"Knowledge Networks provides an important complement and synergy to our existing US businesses. As a result, this acquisition presents a unique opportunity for GfK to better help clients meet their business objectives with richer insights that come from more robust research resources and access to new, innovative solutions" observes Matthias Hartmann, Chief Executive Officer of the GfK Group.

A cornerstone of Knowledge Networks' success is KnowledgePanel® the only online panel that is probability-based and therefore provides a truly representative sample of the US population. The high quality of KnowledgePanel® stems from unrivaled access to under-represented populations, improving the accuracy of insights for clients. GfK's broad array of clients will immediately benefit from access to key market segments through KnowledgePanel®. In addition, the unrivaled quality of KnowledgePanel® allows GfK to both strengthen and innovate its existing media measurement offerings - most notably from GfK MRI - where accuracy is essential.

Knowledge Networks has also expanded online access to important and fast-growing segments of the US market. In particular, the company's Physician's Consulting Network (PCN®) - provides clients with insights from thousands of healthcare professionals. By combining the PCN panel with GfK's own US Healthcare panel, clients will have improved access to quality insights from difficult-to-reach healthcare specialists.

Through its recent acquisition of Garcia Research, Knowledge Networks has established itself as one of the leading providers of Hispanic online research, through its probability-based KnowledgePanelLatinoSM and opt-in Cada Cabeza panel.

Knowledge Networks has continued to innovate in the constantly evolving digital landscape with new tools and expanded capabilities. Specifically, the company has introduced Dimestore - a unique platform for measuring the effectiveness of digital advertising that will be integrated into GfK's suite of digital solutions.

"Through the acquisition of Knowledge Networks, we are taking an important step as part of our new Own the Future corporate strategy. We are strengthening our expertise in digital research, rounding out our media measurement tools, increasing our presence in key client sectors and, ultimately, establishing a stronger position in the US, which is the world's largest market research market," comments Debra A. Pruent, Chief Operating Officer of the GfK Group with responsibility for the Custom Research sector Knowledge Networks provides a complementary fit with GfK's US organization. As such, and in alignment with GfK's new "Own the Future" strategy, Knowledge Networks will be fully integrated into all of GfK's activities in the US including custom research, media and Healthcare.

Simon Kooyman, the CEO of Knowledge Networks, notes: "The Knowledge Networks team is simply delighted to join GfK, the market research company we have always felt closest to in terms of client-focus, innovation and the quality of data, analysis and advice."

In 2011, Knowledge Networks, which was backed by venture investors Oak Investment Partners, Alloy Ventures and Maveron, is expected to generate sales of around USD 58 million. The company has offices in New York, Washington DC, New Jersey, Massachusetts, Ohio, Illinois and California.

Further information:

David Krajicek, Co President, GfK Custom Research North America tel. +1 484 441 1746, david.krajicek@gfk.com

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