The Carlyle Group has acquired Claritas, a consultancy providing marketing and consumer insights to advertisers and other clients, from Nielsen (NYSE: NLSN). Carlyle has partnered on the deal with the Indian Hill Group, which is led by former executives at Nielsen Catalina Solutions, a joint venture partially formed by Nielsen. Equity for the investment comes from the Carlyle Equity Opportunity Fund II, a $2.4 billion vehicle focused on the middle market.
As a provider of analysis and data for marketers, Claritas falls squarely in the consulting services sector—an area that’s been home to a rapid rise in PE activity so far this decade, with deal count climbing from 112 in 2011 to 192 last year, according to the PitchBook Platform. While Claritas is based in New York, a good chunk of those deals—about 44% since the start of 2011—have involved companies based in Europe, not far off the 47% figure for the US.
The same trend carries over to investors, with plenty of European firms rivaling Carlyle as leaders in the space. Here are the busiest firms in the consulting services industry since the start of 2011, including add-ons: