London, ENGLAND — Swedish media and market analysis
company Observer AB announced Thursday its
acquisition of News Extracts, Ireland’s top
media and news monitoring firm.
Terms of the acquisition were not disclosed.
With operations in Dublin, Ireland, and Belfast in
Northern Ireland, News Extracts has a turnover of
SEK 17 million (US $1.68 million) and 50 employees.
By contrast, Observer AB — formerly known as the Sifo
Group — is a much larger organization, turning over in
excess of SEK 1.1 billion (US $108 million) and employing
1,800 people across Europe. Observer now has a presence
in the U.K., Sweden Germany, Finland, Norway, Denmark,
Portugal, Ireland, Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania.
By joining the larger group, News Extracts expects to
have an opportunity to offer value-added services and
IT solutions as well as several international services.
Observer’s Chief Executive Robert Lundberg said the
acquisition of News Extracts completed Observer’s presence
in the English speaking markets in Europe. He called
Ireland, which has a booming — and some would say
overheated economy – “a very interesting market.”
“We see clear synergies with our British operations.
This move into Ireland is, together with our latest
acquisition in Portugal, a further step in our plans
to establish operations in every interesting market in
Europe,” said Lundberg.
In early March 2001, Observer acquired Memorandum SA,
Portugal’s leader in media and market monitoring,
thereby gaining a foothold in the Latin market.
Memorandum has an extensive network of partners in Latin
America and Spain.
The potential for media and news monitoring services
has grown substantially along with the growth of the
Internet. As a result, Observer took the decision
early in 2000 to divest itself of its Research and
Consulting division to concentrate on media and market
monitoring, analysis, evaluation and communication.
Earlier this month, Observer also announced the sale
of its stake in management and strategy consultant
SMG Consulting to co-owner Normann & Partners.
The sale becomes effective at the end of March and
the proceeds will be used to pay for the new acquisitions
in Ireland and Portugal.