New owners will be perfect fit for Brandbank’s ambitions, says Norwich firm’s chief executive

Brandbank, Norwich company that produces product images and words for grocery websites including mos

Brandbank, Norwich company that produces product images and words for grocery websites including most of the major supermarkets. chief executive Rob Tarrant.PHOTO: ANTONY KELLYCOPY:FOR:EDP business© ARCHANT NORFOLK 2009 (01603 772434) - Credit: © ARCHANT NORFOLK PHOTOGRAPHIC

The boss of Brandbank expects to accelerate the firm's growth plans after it was bought out by the American consumer analysis company, Nielsen Holdings.

Rob Tarrant, chief executive of the Bowthorpe-based firm, which creates images for supermarket websites, said the undisclosed deal would hand it the funds it needed to break into new global markets, while Nieslen is set to benefit from Brandbank's digital innovations.

Brandbank employs 200 people at its headquarters at Robberds

Way and a total of 430 people worldwide.

It is forecasted to turnover £17m and mount £1.2m in profits by the end of this financial year.

Based in New York and Diemen in the Netherlands, Nielsen provides information and analysis on what consumers watch and buy.

Mr Tarrant said: 'We have been growing quite rapidly over the last few years and we started looking at ways to raise funds, because if we were going to take on the world

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we needed the money behind us to

do it.

'We had couple of opportunities, and nearly went down the aisle with a private equity company, but they didn't feel right.

'What we needed was a partner that could help us.

'Nielsen is a perfect fit for where we are going, and where they are going.'

'We have one or two products in the pipeline; one is about syndicating data to retailers in real time which is of interest to them,' he added.

Brandbank's main clients include major supermarkets and health and beauty retailers. It has offices in the UK, Ireland, France, the Netherlands, Poland, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary, Turkey, China, Thailand and Malaysia.

Mr Tarrant said he never planned to sell the business as a 100pc acquisition, but the decision was made to give Brandbank the money it needed to grow.

He added: 'All discussions we have had so far say we will keep the business as normal – it will not affect the Norwich staff.

'All of the core directors are staying in more less their existing roles. It will also give massive opportunities to our staff going forward.'

He said Brandbank will now concentrate on merging the two businesses together where appropriate, although Nielsen is keen for the Norfolk firm to remain as a separate entity.

John J Lewis, global president of Nielsen, a multi-billion-dollar company which has a foothold in more than 100 countries, said the deal would advance its digital evolution and help provide better analytical services to its clients.

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