TNS increases stake in LatinPanel Holdings

LONDON - Taylor Nelson Sofres is to increase its stake in LatinPanel Holdings, the South American-based consumer panel company, from a third to 100%.

The company, which operates across 15 South American markets including Argentina, Brazil, Mexico and Colombia, will be acquired by TNS in January 2008 and integrated into the TNS Worldpanel network.

LatinPanel Holdings specialises in consumer panel research across the groceries, toiletries, cosmetics, food and textiles industries. It will allow TNS to expand its presence in the South American region.

TNS said the acquisition of the company would allow it to underline its commitment to the Latin American market following the creation of its first consumer panel there in 1997.

David Lowden, chief executive of TNS, said it had been working in South America for a while via a joint venture arrangement, but would "now take overall control of this sound and growing business, which will facilitate faster development of TNS Worldpanel's activities in this expanding market."

Josep Montserrat, chairman and sector head of LatinPanel Holdings, said: "By integrating LatinPanel into TNS Worldpanel we are creating the right platform to support our clients over the long term."