MORI chief executive Brian Gosschalk confirmed that the group had enlisted Maitland’s support as the market research giant embarked on a controlled auction with a view to sell by the end of the year.
Gosschalk said the group usually handles PR in-house, but had decided to appoint Maitland because of the agency’s existing relationship as adviser to private equity firm 3i, which owns 41 per cent of MORI.
‘It made sense to us to have Maitland on board because they can look after our interest and 3i’s,’ said Gosschalk.
News of the hire coincided with this week’s launch of Cobra – MORI’s new stakeholder opinion research tool, developed jointly with Countrywide Porter Novelli.
The tool has been in the planning for the last 18 months and aims to provide companies with a tool drawing on the specialist capabilities of both MORI and CPN.
MORI director Stewart Lewis said companies using the product will have the unrivalled benefit of being able to compare results against MORI’s database, alongside access to specialist corporate reputation advisers at CPN.
‘MORI has been researching the corporate reputations of various companies for 30 years and has collected this into a giant databank, so we can compare results against previous research across stakeholder groups, such as investors, MPs, consumers and the media,’ said Lewis.
MORI, which launched in 1969, is expected to fetch between £75m and £100m if a sale goes ahead.
The group completed an MBO in March 2000, backed by 3i, and now operates as the UK’s largest independent market research company.