Needing cash to fund growth plans, J.D. Power and Associates is looking at options that could include a sale of the consumer research and consulting firm.
The Westlake Village, Calif., company hired private investment firm Evercore Partners of New York City two months ago to propose options. No timeframe has been set for J.D. Power and Associates to make a decision, spokesman Tom Shaver said.
A sale could bring in $200 million to $400 million and could attract interest from media and advertising companies, according to The Wall Street Journal.
The company is considering its options because it sees opportunities to expand, Shaver said. He declined to give examples of the potential new services or products, citing competition.
"If we are going to pursue those plans over the next three to five years, it will require outside funding," Shaver said.
Previously, the company has always funded its growth internally.
J.D. Power and Associates, founded in 1968, gained notoriety for its surveys of vehicle buyers and rankings of quality, durability and satisfaction. Its annual Initial Quality and Long-Term Durability surveys get widespread media coverage and are closely watched within the industry.
The firm also collects sales data from about 6,000 dealers via its Power Information Network subsidiary.
But over the past several years the firm has expanded. Now, it also surveys consumers in 11 different segments, including health care, copiers, real estate, travel and telecommunications.
J.D. Power and Associates has about 600 employees in 10 offices around the world.
The last year has been a bumpy one for J.D. Power and Associates in the auto industry.
Company founder J. David Power III angered many dealers in October 2003 with a column published in The Wall Street Journal that branded the current retail system as inefficient and called for dealers to emulate "big box" retail stores that put several brands side by side for consumers to compare.
Earlier this month, the company was replaced by MSX International Inc. of Warren, Mich., as the on-site evaluator of Ford Motor Co. dealerships for the automaker's Blue Oval certification program. The change takes effect early next year.
J.D. Power and Associates still has other contracts with Ford.