Court Square & HGGC to Merge Market Research Leaders Research Now & SSI

PALO ALTO AND NEW YORK; October 12, 2017—HGGC and Court Square Capital (“Court Square”) today announced the signing of a definitive agreement to merge Court Square-owned Research Now, a global leader in market research data with Survey Sampling International (“SSI”), an HGGC-owned provider of data solutions and technology for consumer and business-to-business research. The combined company will continue to be owned by HGGC and Court Square with management having a significant stake in the business. Terms of the private transaction were not disclosed.

The combined capabilities of Research Now and SSI–including first-party data, technology platforms, and partnerships with major brands, publishers and ad tech providers–will position the integrated organization to expand the core business and compete in new markets such as audience activation, analytics, path to purchase and measurement.

Based in Shelton, Connecticut, and founded in 1977, SSI is a leading provider of data solutions and technology for consumer and business-to-business survey research. SSI reaches participants in 90 plus sample countries via internet, telephone, mobile/wireless, and mixed-access offerings. SSI staff operates from 40 offices and serves more than 3,500 customers worldwide. Since HGGC acquired SSI in 2014, the company has grown core revenue by more than 40 percent, significantly expanded its B2B business segment, and completed a number of strategic acquisitions to drive growth.

Research Now is a global leader in digital research data for better insights and business decisions. Founded in 1999, and headquartered in Plano, Texas, the company is a pioneer in originating online data sampling and created the first B2B panel. Research Now provides research data solutions that enable better decisions and better results for its 3,000 market research, consulting, media, and corporate clients through access to over 11 million deeply-profiled business professionals and consumers in more than 40 countries. Research Now has locations across the Americas, Europe, the Middle East, and Asia-Pacific. Court Square acquired Research Now in 2015.

“Together, we can advance the state-of-the-art in automated research, delivery and solutions as well as in research-enriched data integration to give our customers increased competitive advantage,” said Gary Laben, CEO of Research Now.

“The combination will also enable accelerated investments in the development of new markets and data solutions that should ultimately help our customers grow their businesses more successfully,” said Chris Fanning, president and CEO of SSI.

“Under our ownership, SSI has extended its reach and product capabilities tremendously, including expanding by 4x its revenues derived from strategic B2B services to clients,” said Steve Young, Co-Founder and Managing Director of HGGC. “This merger is a natural next step to create an organization that can meet the growing demands of global customers of all sizes.”

“The Research Now management team has done an excellent job of positioning the company for the next phase of growth,” said John Civantos, Managing Partner at Court Square. “We look forward to partnering with HGGC and working towards a successful merger of two great companies.”

The transaction is expected to close by the end of the year, and remains subject to the receipt of required regulatory approvals and the satisfaction of other customary closing conditions.

Goldman Sachs & Co. LLC and Morgan, Lewis & Bockius served as advisors to Court Square on the merger and Harris Williams & Co. and Kirkland & Ellis advised HGGC.

About Court Square

Court Square is a middle market private equity firm with one of the most experienced investment teams in the industry. Since 1979, the team has completed over 215 investments, including several landmark transactions, and has developed numerous businesses into leaders in their respective markets. Court Square invests in companies that have compelling growth potential within the business services, general industrial, healthcare, and technology and telecommunications sectors. The firm has $4.4 billion of assets under management and is based in New York, N.Y.

About HGGC

HGGC is a leading middle-market private equity firm with $4.3 billion in cumulative capital commitments. Based in Palo Alto, Calif., HGGC is distinguished by its “Advantaged Investing” model that enables the firm to source and acquire scalable businesses at attractive multiples through partnerships with management teams, founders and sponsors who reinvest alongside HGGC, creating a strong alignment of interests. Over its history, HGGC has completed more than 75 platform investments, add-on acquisitions, recapitalizations and liquidity events with an aggregate transaction value of more than $16 billion.