Market Equity deal marks Synovate's arrival in customised Australian research market

HONG KONG Synovate, the market research arm of Aegis Group plc (Stock: AGS.L on the London Exchange), today announced the acquisition of Market Equity, one of Australia's largest independent full service market research firms.

Headquartered in Perth and with offices in Sydney, Darwin and Adelaide, Market Equity is a business information consultancy with operations covering market research, marketing planning and knowledge management.

Synovate's Global CEO Adrian Chedore said that the acquisition of Market Equity heralds the company's big plans for the Australian market.

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"Following our acquisition of retail tracking company AZTEC Information Services in March of this year, we are delighted to be acquiring another dynamic company in Australia.

"Market Equity is an excellent business with a great reputation, great clients and great results not to mention the 2004 Telstra Western Australian Small Business of the Year award. Success like that doesn't happen without a great team and we're proud to welcome them to Synovate," Mr Chedore added.

"The Australian research industry is innovative, creative and competitive and I am thrilled that Synovate now has two of the most dynamic and entrepreneurial organisations in the market.

"Within a year Synovate has gone from no presence in Australia to becoming a top five firm. We will continue to aggressively pursue further growth and look to rapidly leverage the strengths of these companies throughout our network," he said.

Market Equity has offices in Perth, Sydney, Darwin and Adelaide while Synovate presently has offices in Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane, as well as New Zealand, through its AZTEC purchase.

"The purchase of Market Equity gives Synovate comprehensive coverage within Australia and we look forward to delivering all the benefits of this scope to our Australian and international clients," Mr Chedore said.

Brent Stewart, Chairman and Chief Executive of Market Equity said the deal would give the company the scale and reach it needs to take full advantage of opportunities in the Australian market place.

"This deal brings a wealth of opportunities to Market Equity's clients and employees as well as to Synovate.

"As part of the Synovate group, we can offer our clients global capabilities with local expertise," Mr Stewart said.

Synovate will move quickly to integrate Market Equity into the group, giving existing clients in Australia immediate access to all Synovate research solutions and the global network in 46 countries around the world.

Contact for this press release

Linda Collard
Director - Marketing Communications, Asia Pacific
9/F Leighton Centre
77 Leighton Road
Causeway Bay
Hong Kong
Telephone: +852 2830 2588

About Synovate
Synovate, the market research arm of Aegis Group plc, generates consumer insights that drive competitive marketing solutions. The network provides clients with cohesive global support and a comprehensive suite of research solutions. Synovate employs over 4,000 staff across 46 countries. More information on Synovate can be found at www.synovate.com.

For more information on Synovate visit www.synovate.com.

About Market Equity
Since its inception in 1992, Market Equity has grown to become one of Australia's largest full service marketing and market research consultancies. Market Equity now employs over 70 full-time and 200 casual staff throughout offices in Perth, Sydney, Adelaide and Darwin.

With a growing client list in excess of 300 of Australia's leading companies and government departments, the company has established a reputation for providing innovative and results-oriented solutions to business problems along with high quality service.

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