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GfK carves out animal, crop health division

Division sold to consortium of private equity investor Inflexion and current management team led by Stephen Hearn.

Market research group GfK announced the agreement to carve out its global animal and crop health division to a consortium consisting of Inflexion, a private equity investor, and the current management led by Stephen Hearn.

Closing of the transaction is intended to take place in the first quarter of 2016. The deal strengthens GfK's focus on strategic business areas with synergy potential. At the same time, the deal supports the animal and crop health division's plans to invest, innovate and grow.

The business, led by Hearn, has grown rapidly since inception, delivering sales of around $40 million (pro-forma base) in 2014. Building on the foundations of an already successful business with a long history in agricultural and animal health market research globally, the new company will continue specializing in all aspects of market research in animal health, crop protection, farm machinery and equipment, seed/biotech and fertilizers.

All of the approximately 220 employees across 18 major agricultural and animal health markets are planned to transfer to the new company.

GfK's animal and crop health business delivers data-driven market information to the agriculture and animal health markets, providing detailed insights into their customers' key growth requirements. The business serves a wide range of long standing, blue chip, global research and development manufacturers in precision agriculture, animal health, crop protection and biotechnology.

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