Thursday, January 3, 2013

Hanley Wood Acquires MetroStudy


Some big news for the housing market research industry today:  after what I imagine were years of wrangling and offers, Hanley Wood, LLC has finally bought Houston-based MetroStudy.  This deal certainly makes sense to me:  if the goal of Hanley Wood's investors is to be the 800-pound gorilla in the housing data space, then it can't get there if another 800-pound gorilla (MetroStudy) is in the way.

It also seems likely that the merger will continue to use MetroStudy's unique data collection methodology, which has some significant differences with Hanley Wood's Market Intelligence division.  In addition, Hanley Wood will also pick up a national consulting business, something they disbanded in late 2007 and thus won't have to jump-start from scratch.  Nonetheless, with this acquisition completed, Hanley Wood can now own the national new home data collection space by itself -- until, of course, another well-capitalized competitor (hello, Jeff Meyers) comes along to upset the apple cart.

From the press release:
Hanley Wood LLC ("Hanley Wood"), the premier media, information and marketing services company serving the residential, commercial design and construction industries, announced today that it has acquired Metrostudy, a leading provider of primary and secondary market information to the housing and related industries nationwide.
(click here to read more)

"The acquisition of Metrostudy represents an important step in Hanley Wood's growth strategy and demonstrates our ongoing commitment to providing customers with the information, tools and knowledge that allow them to make intelligent decisions that help grow their businesses," said Peter Goldstone, Chief Executive Officer of Hanley Wood. "Metrostudy's outstanding research capabilities and broad geographic reach will greatly complement our Market Intelligence business and allow Hanley Wood to offer a product suite that will be incredibly valuable to our customers."

Metrostudy will be combined with Hanley Wood Market Intelligence, and the merged business unit is expected to operate under the Metrostudy brand name. The complementary strengths and regional footprints of the two companies will give customers several significant advantages, including a wider geographic reach, a simplified and more intuitive user interface, and a more comprehensive platform of products, data and services.

Hanley Wood Market Intelligence President, Chris Veator, will continue to lead the business, and he will work closely with Metrostudy's executive management, Mike Castleman, Jr., Jack Inselmann and Phillip Rassel, each of whom will serve as a Senior Vice President. Metrostudy's Chief Executive Officer, Mike Castleman, Sr., and President, Mike Inselmann, will remain with the company as senior consultants to ensure a smooth transition.
"As the housing sector continues to recover, it is increasingly important that builders and other industry participants make intelligent business and investment decisions," said Chris Veator. "This requires having access to the most comprehensive and reliable data with the most sophisticated analytical capabilities. The combination of these two businesses will allow us to produce even better data and analytics to help our customers best decide where to invest capital and how to best mitigate risk."
"We are extremely excited about this transaction and the opportunities it will create for our employees and customers," said Mike Castleman, Sr. "Hanley Wood has an exceptional management team that recognizes the value of our platform and is committed to investing in the growth of the business. We will be able to leverage Hanley Wood's national media properties, integrated sales platform and sophisticated analytical capabilities, and, as a result, all of our customers will greatly benefit from enhanced and additional services and functionality."
Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

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