3i relinquishes MORI stake

ISIS Equity Partners has taken a significant stake in UK independent research organisation MORI in a secondary buyout transaction. 3i, which has held a stake in the company since 1986, has made a complete exit from the business as MORI’s principal equity partner.

MORI will be controlled by its management and staff who control over 50% of the equity. The balance, just under 50%, will be held by ISIS as lead investor and Caledonia Investments, an established investor in various ISIS funds.

MORI’s current senior management team will remain in place with Brian Gosschalk as CEO, Mike Everett as MD, John Searle as CFO, Greg Smith running the private sector business and Ben Page heading the public sector practice. Robert Worcester remains chairman, and ISIS appointees will join the MORI board.

Chairman Robert Worcester said: “3i backed MORI early in the game, and stuck with us for nearly 20 years, which is a remarkable time for any venture capital company. Their commitment to their investees is well-known and much appreciated by company founders and their successors. We are delighted to have ISIS on board for the next phase of our success under the leadership of Brian and the team, and the nearly 400 MORI staff in this country and in the Republic of Ireland.”

LongAcre Partners advised the Board of MORI and Royal Bank of Scotland provided the debt finance.