IFF Research to acquire competitor research agency

Business Support | Deal of the day | Mergers & Acquisitions | Midlands | South East

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IFF Research has secured a loan to acquire Voluntas, another research agency. IFF Research expects to grow from c.£8m in turnover now to more than £12m in the next financial year, as a result of both the purchase of Voluntas and organic growth.

Alternative SME credit specialist, Caple, has agreed a fully unsecured loan over a five-year term.

Caple originates loans through a local partner network of accountancy and business advisory firms. Brett Stacey from Assay Corporate Finance advised IFF Research.

Jan Shury, managing director of IFF Research, said: “IFF Research helps both public and private sector organisations to make more informed decisions. The deal with Caple and the purchase of Voluntas enables us to enhance this capability and provide expertise on the UK housing market.

“This is our first acquisition and both Caple and our advisers, Assay Corporate Finance, ensured the deal was smooth and that our acquisition was a success. As important, the unsecured nature of the loan means our directors did not have to dilute our ownership in the business by giving up equity to complete this acquisition.”

Established in 1965, IFF Research is a full-service research agency that provides strategic research for both the public and private sector.

The London-based firm lists clients such as the Department for Education, the National Audit Office, Sport England, NFU Mutual and Cardiff University.

IFF Research acquired Birmingham-based research agency Voluntas because of its complementary housing market expertise. IFF Research will use the purchase of Voluntas to supports its ambition of getting into the housing sector and creating a larger and more diversified business.

As a result of the acquisition, IFF research will also develop Voluntas’ proprietary technology platform that enables clients to access actionable insights in real time. IFF Research will harness the platform for its clients and further build the technology to deliver greater value to them.

The loans Caple facilitates are part of BNP Paribas Asset Management’s SME Alternative Financing direct lending platform. BNP Paribas Asset Management aims to provide €1bn (£0.86bn) per year in funding to SMEs across Europe and €400m (£345m) in the UK.

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