Former Primark CEO Acquires Economic Information and Forecasting Businesses

Article excerpt

WEFA (formerly Wharton Economic Forecasting Associates) and Data Resources (DRI) have been the pre-eminent companies in the field of crunching economic data and forecasting. Each company works to understand and quantify how the economic environment impacts organizations and governments. Now, the two competitors have been purchased from their parent companies and a new company has been formed to integrate and grow the businesses.

Global Insight, Inc. (GII), a privately held corporation headed by Joseph Kasputys, has been formed through the acquisition of 100 percent of four businesses and a significant interest in a fifth. In addition to DRI and WEFA, the company has purchased Primark Decision Economics, a provider of economic advice to financial and business leaders, headed by economist Allen Sinai, who continues to hold an equity interest in this company; DAFSA, a European market research company; and Primark Poland, a software development company with expertise in time series data management.

DRI was acquired from The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. The interests in the other businesses were acquired from The Thomson Corp., which had obtained them through its purchase of Primark in September 2000. The purchase prices were not disclosed.

Kasputys has been closely tied to all of these companies. He was president of DRI from 1977 to 1983 and was executive vice president of its parent company, McGraw-Hill, until 1987. After joining the publicly traded Primark Corp. as CEO, Kasputys acquired WEFA in 1997. In 1996, he co-founded Primark Decision Economics with Sinai, and he also began Primark Poland. After Thomson acquired Primark, he served as chairman of Thomson Financial, but stepped down January 1,2001. It seems fitting that Kasputys is uniting them under a single corporate umbrella that could offer the scope and scale to expand the businesses and build upon synergies.

"GII was formed to create a comprehensive line of top-quality products and capabilities that provide our clients with the insights needed for better decisions," said Kasputys, who will serve as Global Insight's chairman, president, and CEO. "Our mission is to be the leading organization that provides business executives, investors, and government officials around the world with economic information, analysis, and solutions," he added. …