Company Announcements


Source: RNS
RNS Number : 0361V
YouGov PLC
09 December 2021



9 December 2021

YouGov plc

("YouGov" or "the Group" or "the Company")

Acquisition of LINK Marketing Services AG


YouGov, the international market research and data analytics group, announces the acquisition of the leading Swiss market and social research agency, LINK Marketing Services AG ("LINK") based in Zurich.

LINK was founded in 1981 in Lucerne, Switzerland and is a well-regarded player in the region with a focus on driving innovation in its market and social research capabilities. In 1984, it was the first Swiss market research company to internally develop and use software for CATI surveys and started the use of online surveys in 1998. The company has longstanding relationships with leading Swiss companies and global blue-chip clients in the financial services, FMCG, retail industries and government sector. LINK employs around 100 staff and is divided into two main divisions: a full-service market research business that services clients using its high-quality online panel and a social research business that delivers opinion and behavioural data largely for the public sector, including the Swiss Federal Statistical Office, public institutions and universities.

YouGov has seen good traction in Mainland Europe following the expansion of its panel into several new European countries and a shift in its approach to target large-scale, regional tracking projects. Switzerland is a key market for several of our European clients and the addition of the LINK business will reinforce YouGov's position in Mainland Europe. Through this acquisition, we can expand the use of our panels, technology and product suite to create additional value for our clients and shareholders. This strategic acquisition opens up several avenues of opportunity for the combined entity such as:


Enabling the existing LINK sales team to expand their client relationships using YouGov's international research capabilities


Further develop our syndicated data products in Switzerland and leverage LINK's strong client relationships to boost subscriptions 


Collaboration with LINK's social research business, which is highly complementary to YouGov's existing public data efforts, to expand the offering globally using their highly innovative research methodologies


Utilising the high-quality, online LINK panel consisting of 115,000 members to service existing YouGov clients

The total consideration for the acquisition is CHF 26.4 million (£21.7 million)1 payable upfront in cash. The consideration will be funded through internal cash reserves. For the twelve months ended 31 December 2020, LINK reported revenues of CHF 23.0 million and adjusted2 profit before tax of CHF 2.0 million.

The existing LINK management team will continue to run the acquired business which will continue to operate under its name for the foreseeable future.

Stephan Shakespeare, CEO and co-founder of YouGov, commented: "LINK is a great fit for YouGov and we are thrilled to bring it into the YouGov fold as we continue to invest for growth in line with our strategy. Like us, they have a highly engaged online panel - the heart of the company providing their gold standard data - and they are similarly renowned for world class social and political research. Switzerland is home to a large number of multinational companies and LINK's data is best-in-class in the market. Through this acquisition, we can better serve clients both within Switzerland and around the world as we roll out our world class data products in the country."

Benedikt Lüthi, CEO of LINK, commented: "We are excited to join the YouGov family, and while it opens up a world of possibilities for our clients, we will continue to offer them what they have come to expect from us over the years - the best data drawn from the best panel which provides the most accurate answers. Our two companies share a strong cultural affinity - we are both leaders in innovative online research and analytics - and we share the same vision. As a result of this deal, we can now offer our clients much more. From the get-go LINK customers will gain access to YouGov's global research network, panel and suite of innovative insights' products that enable them to track their own and their competitors' brands globally."

1 Figures based on an exchange rate of GBP £1.00 = CHF 1.22 as of 8 December 2021

2 Adjusted profit before tax excludes the one-off gain from sale of property




YouGov plc

Stephan Shakespeare / Alex McIntosh / Hannah Jethwani


020 7012 6000

FTI Consulting

Charles Palmer / Elena Kalinskaya


                        020 3727 1000

Numis Securities (NOMAD and Joint Broker)

Nick Westlake / Hugo Rubinstein / Matt Lewis


020 7260 1000

Berenberg (Joint Broker)

Mark Whitmore / Alix Mecklenburg-Solodkoff


020 3207 7800


About YouGov

YouGov is an international research and data analytics group.

Our mission is to supply a continuous stream of accurate data into what the world thinks, so that organisations can better serve the communities that sustain them.

Our 17 million registered members provide us with a highly engaged proprietary panel that delivers thousands of data points on consumer opinions, attitudes and behaviour on a daily basis. We combine this continuous stream of data with our research expertise to provide insights that enable intelligent decision-making and informed conversations.

With operations in the UK, the Americas, Europe, the Middle East, India and Asia Pacific, YouGov has one of the world's largest research networks.


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