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London-based Consultancy Acquires Cannondale Associates

FAIRFIELD, Conn. - Leading U.S. sales and marketing consultancy Cannondale Associates may soon be catapulted into the global arena, under a new owner, the Kantar Group, which is a division of London-based WPP Group.

The Kantar Group, WPP's information, insight, and consultancy division, disclosed the deal on Friday, but would not discuss the terms.

Cannondale, which also provides software solutions, has offices in Wilton, Conn. and Evanston, Ill. Well known in the domestic supermarket industry, Cannondale is focused on improving the return on investment from trade marketing activities while building brand equity for leading retailers and consumer packaged goods manufacturers.

The company provides strategic consulting services in areas such as category management, trade promotion, channel development, and frequent-shopper data analysis, as well as offering proprietary software solutions and industry benchmark research to augment these consulting services.

"This new relationship with Kantar and WPP provides a number of important strategic benefits for Cannondale and our clients," said Cannondale c.e.o. Jack Ryder in a statement. "It will afford access to the resources of a large firm and the opportunity for collaboration with other Kantar companies, enabling us to provide more comprehensive marketing solutions for our clients. Taking advantage of these assets will enable us to further advance leading-edge capabilities such as ShopperGenetics, our frequent shopper data analytics practice, as well as our leading software solutions, such as RichMix and PriceRite, to drive competitive advantage for clients."

Ryder also noted that Kantar's global presence provides Cannondale a platform for expanding its PoweRanking research globally, as well as applying its CPG capabilities and tools to its current clients' international business.

All senior Cannondale management, including Jack Ryder, John Carlson, Paul Crnkovich, Ken Harris, Bob Hilarides, Sven Risom, and Don Stuart will remain in their current positions, according to Cannondale.

Said Kantar c.e.o. Eric Salama: "They are some of the most talented people operating in their field. Channel and trade issues are a key area of focus and growth for us, and Cannondale will be an essential component of that offer. Together with Glendinning and Management Ventures, as well as capabilities elsewhere within Kantar and WPP, we now have some of the deepest retail experience and talent available."
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