IHS acquires NPD's Solarbuzz, DisplaySearch

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IHS Technology is set to broaden its position in solar research, market intelligence and displays with after acquiring rival NPD Group’s Solarbuzz and DisplaySearch divisions.

IHS Inc., which conducts market research in such diverse fields as aerospace and defense, automotive, chemical, energy, healthcare, maritime and technology, has signed a definitive agreement with NPD for the two businesses. The acquisition is expected to be completed this month.

Solarbuzz offers market intelligence, research and forecasting for the solar industry, with a focus on the photovoltaic supply chain. DisplaySearch, founded in 1996, conducts Asia-based primary research in display technology. It provides market forecasting services, advisory solutions and events to display value chain players around the world.

The two businesses, which will be integrated into the IHS Technology business line, will position IHS "as a premier global provider of displays research and as a top provider of solar market information," said IHS President and CEO Scott Key.

The chief exec said IHS would develop new offerings in the fast-growing solar market with Solarbuzz. "Solarbuzz will help IHS customers tap into the photovoltaic industry’s premier source for detailed strategic and tactical planning information."

Key added that DisplaySearch would provide "a powerful view of the end-to-end display supply chain, from chemicals to semiconductors to displays, and then on through TVs, phones and mobile devices, to operator platforms and content."

This DisplaySearch acquisition will also provide IHS with new experience in displays research and analytics in the U.S., China, Japan, South Korea and Taiwan, Key noted.

NPD Group Chairman and CEO Tod Johnson said the sale of the businesses was "a strategic decision" that would allow the company to focus on the global expansion of its retail, distributor and consumer tracking services.

"We are committed to continued innovation in our core businesses, and as analyst services focused on the supply chain, DisplaySearch and Solarbuzz are less synergistic with our portfolio and less compatible with our long-range vision," Johnson said.

The Solarbuzz and DisplaySearch teams currently total nearly 70 professionals in offices in U.S. state of California and Texas, South Korea, China, Taiwan, Japan and the United Kingdom.