Mori staff to share in £60m payout from Ipsos

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The Independent Online

Workers at Mori, the polling and opinion research group, are to share in a £60m bonanza following the sale of the company to Ipsos of France.

Ipsos confirmed yesterday it would be paying £88m for the company set up by Sir Bob Worcester in 1969. Its turnover at that time was £50,000.

Of the purchase price, £25m will be used to repay Mori's borrowings with £5m paid out to management and staff in the form of Ipsos shares.

However, the bulk of the payment, £55m, will be made in cash with Sir Bob receiving £9m and the remaining staff and management, including the chief executive Brian Gosschalk, sharing an £18.4m pot. Of that, Mr Gosschalk will receive £2.75m.

Mori's private-equity backers, Isis Equity Partners and Caledonia Investments, will share £18.6m, roughly doubling their investment in 19 months since investing in the company in March last year when it was valued at £55m.

Separately, YouGov, the market research business that relies entirely on online polling, reported that turnover had grown 48 per cent to £2.9m, for the year ended July 2005. Pre-tax profit climbed 47 per cent to £996,000, in the first set of results since the company listed this year.

YouGov announced that it would launch a new product that would allow clients to track 1,100 leading UK brands on a daily basis. The brands - ranging from Fairy Liquid and Mars to British Airways and HSBC - will be rated by 2,000 members of YouGov's internet panel every day. The pollster said the service would allow clients to spot trends affecting their brand, and rivals' brands, much more quickly. For instance, it could test the effectiveness of a new advertising campaign.

"It is true that the vast majority of brands do not change daily. But all long-term trends begin somewhere and you want to catch them before others do," YouGov's joint chief executive Stephan Shakespeare said.