On August 29, 2008, Microsoft announced the acquisition of European-based Greenfield Online and its subsidiary Ciao for $486 million. But while Ciao, with its over 26 million users per month will be integrated into Microsoft's European search and ecommerce services, the company has not been able to marry Greenfield Online’s Internet Survey Solutions business within Live Search. This is why the Redmond company announced that Greenfield Online ISS would be sold to ZM Surveys.
“It was very important to Microsoft to find the right partner to champion the continued growth of the Greenfield Online ISS business, which is not a fit within Microsoft’s strategy for our Live Search platform. The strength of the ISS business allowed us to find the right buyer for that business, letting us focus on our acquisition of Greenfield Online and its Ciao comparison shopping business, which we believe will help bolster our commercial search strategy in Europe,” explained Tami Reller, corporate vice president and CFO for Windows and Online Services at Microsoft.
Andrew Vogel, a partner at ZM Capital indicated that Greenfield Online ISS business would continue to be a standalone entity. Vogel ensured that there are no plans in place for Greenfield Online ISS to become a part of any company. No financial details have been made public in relation to the transaction. Microsoft estimates that it will completely swallow Greenfield Online by the end of 2008, at which time ISS will also be sold.
“We believe that Microsoft’s decision to sell Greenfield Online’s ISS business to ZM Capital is an excellent opportunity to strengthen our industry leadership around the world. The ZM Capital acquisition is a very positive development for ISS clients and employees, and I believe the team at ZM Capital has the right combination of domain experience and resources to help the ISS business develop the next generation of products and services,” added Albert Angrisani, president and chief executive officer of Greenfield Online.