Vestar Is in Talks to Acquire Information Resources

(Bloomberg) -- Vestar Capital Partners is leading an investor group that’s in talks to buy market-research firm Information Resources Inc. from New Mountain Capital, according to people familiar with the matter.

A deal for the Chicago-based company could be announced shortly, said the people, who asked not to be identified because the matter isn’t public. It’s not clear how much the deal is worth.

Representatives for New Mountain and Vestar Capital declined to comment. A representative for Information Resources didn’t respond to requests for comment.

Information Resources, which does business as IRI, tracks and compiles consumer purchases and offers data analysis and consulting services to retail groups, according to its website.

New Mountain acquired IRI in 2011. It purchased an 81% stake for about $800 million, according to research notes from Moody’s Investors Service. In 2016, IRI took out new loans to refinance its debt and pay a dividend of about $627 million to New Mountain and its other shareholders, according to Moody’s.

New Mountain has been mulling an exit for at least a year. It hired advisers for a sale process that had been slated to start around September 2017 that could value the company at as much as $4 billion, people familiar with the matter said at the time.

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