1/4 news – Institute of Industry Analyst Relations (IIAR) https://analystrelations.org The IIAR is a not-for-profit organisation established to raise awareness of analyst relations and the value of industry analysts, promote best practice amongst analyst relations professionals, enhance communication between analyst firms and vendors, and offer opportunities for AR practitioners to network with their industry peers. Sun, 15 Dec 2019 19:23:00 +0000 en-GB hourly 1 76177372 [NEWS] 451 Research acquired by S&P https://analystrelations.org/2019/12/07/451-research-acquired/ https://analystrelations.org/2019/12/07/451-research-acquired/#comments Sat, 07 Dec 2019 09:21:30 +0000 https://analystrelations.org/?p=312527

By Simon Jones (LinkedIn, @SimonDestrier) and Ludovic Leforestier (LinkedIn, @lludovic).

451 Research, one of the leading independent analyst firms has been acquired by credit ratings, benchmarks and analytics giant S&P Global.

The deal marks expansion plans for 451 Research, which recently celebrated its 20th anniversary, and has around 90 analysts and 15 consultants on its roster.

Deal heralds further expansion for 451 Research

S&P says the acquisition “will expand and strengthen S&P Global Market Intelligence’s research coverage, adding differentiated expertise and intelligence with comprehensive offerings in technologies such as Artificial Intelligence (AI), Internet of Things (IoT), Information Security, Data Centers, Cloud and DevOps”.

William Fellows / 451 Research

“Subscription-based, recurring revenue businesses rock, says an $8bn Fortune 500 company. 451 Research fits the bill.”

William Fellows, 451 Research co-founder

It’s further growth for 451 Research, which recently announced an extension of its research agenda to cover the Middle East and Africa. Co-founder John Abbott told us: “This is exciting news for us, a chance to develop the business with more resources than we could have provided ourselves, and the fit is excellent, taking S&P into fast growing emerging tech sectors.”

451 Research will be operated within S&P Global Market Intelligence, its division that provides data, essential insights, and powerful analytics to help navigate the financial markets. It’s a good tie-in for 451 Research, which is often engaged during takeover bids by buyers and sellers looking to determine the true value of an acquisition target.

Split from the Uptime Institute

The deal splits 451 Research from the Uptime Institute, which it acquired 10 years ago. The 451 Group also bought Tier 1 Research in 2005, and acquired the remains of the Yankee Group from private equity firm Alta Communications back in 2013.

451 research claims to serve more than 2,000 client organizations globally through syndicated research, advisory services and live events. Based in New York, 451 has a major office in London and satellite offices in Boston and San Francisco.

Our take

  • We’ll have to wait and see whether this really is an expansion or an exit strategy for the founders. AR professionals should keep an eye out for the ongoing hands-on involvement of the 451 founders still involved in day-to-day research: Nick Patience, William Fellows and John Abbott, plus Chief Analyst Eric Hanselman and CRO Brett Azuma
  • Previous analyst firm acquisitions by content/information businesses have had a checkered history – see Ovum, Kennedy, Altimeter for example
  • This is a good time for vendors with 451 Research contracts to lock in their 2020 pricing, as takeovers often also bring price hikes
  • This is a chance for 451 Research to leverage S&P’s market presence to strengthen its competitive position in the M&A space against rivals like PitchBook Data

Whatever 2020 holds, the news is great timing for a pre-Christmas celebration, as 451 Research holds its Christmas party in London next week … see you there?

Related posts

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Vendor consortium will turn IDC into end-user specialist https://analystrelations.org/2016/04/01/vendor-consortium-will-turn-idc-into-end-user-specialist/ https://analystrelations.org/2016/04/01/vendor-consortium-will-turn-idc-into-end-user-specialist/#comments Fri, 01 Apr 2016 06:27:57 +0000 https://analystrelations.org/?p=103037 An announcement today confirms that Oracle, IBM and SAP have come together to buy IDC. It’s a shock move that is shaking the powerhouse of the industry, Gartner Group.
april fool

Documents relating to the deal show that that former Gartner leaders are being brought in to lead the transformation. Gartner’s research head, Peter Sondegard, and former CFO Chris Lafond will turn IDC into a tough competitor for Gartner. An SAP executive familiar with the deal said this will “shake up the industry. It is going through a patch of mediocrity. There are so many new buzzwords and acronyms being needlessly invented that it’s getting ridiculous and boring.”

The new firm will only sell to end users. Vendor contracts will not be renewed. In a year’s time, IDC could claim to be truly independent.  As well as investing in the new IDC, IBM will also provide its Watson artificial intelligence system. Watson will support new research and advisory services will be around a 3-dimensional matrix (3DM) which will be accessed through the Oculus Rift virtual reality system. Clients will be taken into a virtual world of research where they will initially interact with automated Smart Analysts. Depending on their questions, clients will move seamlessly between interacting with the AI-powered Analysts and live ones. IBM’s Watson system will be underpinned with database and content management technology systems from Oracle and SAP. The consortium has announced that “Super Analysts” including Ray Wang, Phil Fersht and Fabrizio Biscotti will also be modelled for the new “Robotic Automated Analysts”, to be called RAAs. This automation will allow IDC to dramatically increase the number of end-user clients it can serve, to provide a joined-up view across analyst silos and to provide multiple language support.
After the initial technology investment, the robotic analysts will save millions from IDC’s bottom line. Gartner shares have already fallen 17% in shadow trading in Asia, and are expected to fall when the New York Stock Exchange opens later this morning. Early analysis of the deal is on Duncan Chapple’s blog.
With input from Robert De Souza (LinkedOn@robert_desouza) and Duncan Chapple (LinkedOn@DuncanChapple
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A New Year and a New Owner for Yankee Group – the 451 Group https://analystrelations.org/2013/01/08/a-new-year-and-a-new-owner-for-yankee-group-the-451-group/ https://analystrelations.org/2013/01/08/a-new-year-and-a-new-owner-for-yankee-group-the-451-group/#comments Tue, 08 Jan 2013 18:42:29 +0000 https://analystrelations.org/?p=5032 On January 3rd 451 Group announced the acquisition of Yankee Group from Alta Communications (private equity firm) for an undisclosed sum. All Yankee Group employees are to be retained and the company will operate as an independent division of the 451 Group adding the 18 analysts (and 7 affiliate analysts) of Yankee Group to the roster of some 60 analysts at 451 Group.  Terry Waters will stay on as CEO of the new 451 division.

You can find some interesting analysis by Duncan Chapple regarding the financial background to this acquisition at www.analystequity.com/1853/yankee-group-saved-by-451-acquisition. Duncan’s perspective is reflective of the recent re-structuring at Yankee Group and provides some good historical context to Yankee Group’s past ownership.

Yankee Group Restructuring
Yankee Group has gone through a major re-structuring and change of direction since 2010, when Terry Waters was appointed as CEO (after Emily Nagle-Green stepped down). From 30 analysts at that time, the company has pared down to 18 full time-analysts (including 5 data specialists) and 7 affiliates including former staff. Five of the team (including one affiliate) are based in Europe, the rest are based in the Americas. The company has gone from an advisory and opinion business model (mixed research and consultancy) to a data-centric research and advisory model concentrating on subscription services. Historically Yankee Group’s customer base has been biased toward telcos and telecommunication software and services providers. With the transition to their focus on mobility, Yankee Group more recently have been seeking to increase sales to the wider enterprise and mobile ecosystem (ie payments, apps, cloud) market but penetration rates to-date will likely be limited.

In addition to the business model change the company has also transitioned from being a communications generalist to a specialist in mobility culminating in the launch of their Mobile Advisory & Planning Services (MAPS) product in May of last year. This is a hybrid product combining targeted research and data with regular daily and weekly analyst commentary and insights. The research focus is now the mobile ecosystem with an agenda covering topics such as mobile money, mobile broadband, mobile and connected devices, mobile applications and the cloud.

The New 451 Group Structure
The 451 Group will now be split between three independent divisions: 451 Research, Uptime Institute and Yankee Group. The 451 Research focus has been on Enterprise IT innovation concentrating on technology segments such as cloud, eco-efficient IT, enterprise security, information management, data centre technologies and internet infrastructure services. The 451 team have provided some limited coverage of mobile infrastructure. How this will integrate with the new Yankee Group Services is yet to be determined but Yankee Group’s CEO, Terry Waters, expects there will be opportunity for collaboration in research versus any transition of topics or resources. The 451 Group sees mobility as a major driver of innovation in business and technology markets globally and believes its impact in the evolving enterprise and broader consumer IT marketplaces will fundamentally shape the future expansion and strategy of Digital Infrastructure, a key focus of The 451 Group.

So, from an AR’s perspective a couple of key questions. If I subscribe to 451 Group or Yankee Group today (or both) what changes (and what is likely to change)? Is this likely to put Yankee Group onto a more stable footing and make them more relevant?

What Changes?
Conversation with Terry Waters suggests that the answer to the first question, in the near term at least, is nothing changes. Yankee Group contracts remain separate and there is no merging between the sales teams. The Yankee Group back-office staff will merge with those of the 451 Group so there may be some logistical changes but for now expect nothing more than that. Longer-term is more questionable. The 451 Group do have a good track history with M&A both as separate independent divisions (e.g. Uptime Institute) and as fully-merged businesses (e.g. TheInfoPro – which was initially set up as an independent division and then fully merged into 451 Research, ChangeWave Research). The research focus of all parts of the combined entity is data-centric versus opinion-focused research. The 451 Group ownership also adds some marketing muscle to Yankee Group to help them more clearly articulate the new mobility focus. Whether 451 Research and Yankee Group ultimately merge however is likely more a question of the relative buying audiences, The 451 Group’s own long-term objectives (i.e. as an independent research business or to get acquired themselves) and the relative success that the independent model delivers.

A Stronger Yankee Group?
What about the related question of the long-term viability of Yankee Group? Certainly the new owner has a good understanding of the research model, both companies have a mostly vendor-facing business (albeit that 451 Group derives some significant revenue from the investment community), 451 Group likely has acquired a team of strong assets at a relatively low price, and overall has demonstrated some real ability to build a competitive research company in a market where it is very difficult to make real profit from research (unless you are very small or very big). With over 200 staff, the combined 451 Group is now of a similar size to Ovum, lagging IDC, Forrester and Gartner in analyst numbers but getting ever more visible on the radar as one of the few midsize advisory research firms that is profitably growing. For now this seems like a good landing place for Yankee Group and I expect will likely stem the flow of talent out of the company as well as allow the MAPS product offerings to fully develop for clients.  Now may be a time to re-visit Yankee Group if mobility is your area of product/services but do not expect any radical transformation or near-term shift in investment from today.

Key Takeaways for AR:

  • Expect no change in the near-term in terms of account manager, contractual terms (including seat access) or research coverage. You may wish to contact your account manager to confirm your own specific details.
  • If mobile telcos and telecom service providers are a key market review the revised offerings from Yankee Group and ensure that you are keeping their analyst team briefed. We would recommend also reviewing ABI Research, Current Analysis and Juniper Research for other specialist insights in the area of mobile.
  • Regularly review the situation with The 451 Group to see whether any structural changes take place which may create opportunities for combined contract negotiation between 451 Research and Yankee Group research.


Post written by Simon Levin, IIAR Board Member

Read also: What’s happening at Yankee Group?

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Seismic consolidation in the analyst landscape https://analystrelations.org/2011/04/01/seismic-consolidation-in-the-analyst-landscape/ https://analystrelations.org/2011/04/01/seismic-consolidation-in-the-analyst-landscape/#comments Fri, 01 Apr 2011 13:49:20 +0000 https://analystrelations.org/2011/04/01/seismic-consolidation-in-the-analyst-landscape/ After Gartner snapped Burton and AMR, we were expecting Forrester to retaliate or maybe IDG (IDC’s parent company) to expand in the end-user advisory space (RAS) to complement their quantitative offerings, but not THAT ONE.

After some rumours on the Ovum side, we’ve done a few checks and got a confirmation of the following: Informa has made an offer for Forrester!

Informa is a GBP1.2m supplier of business-to-business information through some of the longest-standing brands in the world of publishing, conferences, exhibitions and training. They have some history back to 1734 when the first issue of the maritime publication Lloyd’s List was first pinned to the wall of Edward Lloyd’s City of London coffee shop.

Since then, they have merged with the Taylor & Francis Group, a world-leading academic publisher in 2004, have acquired IIR Holdings and Datamonitor (itself the parent company of Ovum) in 2005 and 2007 respectively, as t! hey have a strategy to expand thebusiness through both acquisition and organic growth.

It seems to work for them as they boast a CAGR of 14% (YE09), Informa has a strong track record of creating value from organic growth and acquisitions.

We hear they have submitted an offer to buy the outstanding stock of Forrester (FORR) for $1.4b, a premium of about 20% on the current share price of $38.29. Which means that George Colony can buy a penthouse in Manhattan as well. Nice. More details here.

4/4 update -here’s a quick roundup of the news published last Friday:

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IDG to merge IDC with Gartner? https://analystrelations.org/2008/04/01/idg-to-merge-idc-with-gartner/ https://analystrelations.org/2008/04/01/idg-to-merge-idc-with-gartner/#comments Tue, 01 Apr 2008 09:19:43 +0000 http://iiar.wordpress.com/?p=42 We have heard today (from three sources) that IDG, the parent of IDC, intends to buy Silver Lake Partners’ share in Gartner and the holdings of CEO Eugene Hall. As part of the deal Neil Bradford, former head of Forrester Americas, and Anthony Parslow, until recently head of Datamonitor, will replace Gene Hall as co-CEOs. Bradford will direct the US business; Parslow (who serves on IDG’s board) will head Gartner’s troubled operations outside the Americas. This is obviously news that will shape the industry – you have seen it first here!

Generally speaking, this isn’t a surprise.

– Silver Lake was, for a long time, the largest shareholder in Gartner. As the firm’s stock price rose it aimed to cash in its gains. Despite a large share buy-back by Gartner, the value of the shares has now fallen. Silver Lake is looking for opportunities to exit. IDG will pay a 7% premium over the current Gartner stock price.

– IDG has a strategic orientation towards expanding its share of the analyst industry. It narrowly lost out to Gartner in bidding for META Group. It sees the possibility for a roll-up spanning different price points across the value chain. IDC’s end-user Insights businesses could gain from the custom-consulting and mid-market work that Gartner cannot do economically. The businesses could also benefit from common base data, as the Datamonitor companies do.

– Gene Hall has revolutionised Gartner, and taken it to a new level. It’s a good time for him to cash in and move on.

However, we are skeptical of claims that IDG will merge IDC and Gartner. There are two strong brands with different positions. The main opportunity in the closer co-operation is for IDG’s non-IDC services to reuse and promote Gartner research, and to use IDG’s events business to rebuild Gartner’s now-sold vision events business.

To see a copy of IDG’s statement, please click here:

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