18. January 2023

InSites Consulting solidifies its position as a leader in insight communities with the acquisition of Happy Thinking People.

The shareholders of HAPPY THINKING PEOPLE have sold their company to InSites Consulting, Ghent (Belgium). Happy Thinking People was founded in 1989 as a qualitative research boutique and is now a leading, international market research and innovation consultancy.

Happy Thinking People has grown strongly since it was founded in 1989 as a qualitative research boutique. Today it is an international market research and innovation consultancy, ranking #1 in the 2021 marktforschung.de research industry image study – Innovation &Creativity category. With four locations in Europe, Munich, Berlin, Paris and Zurich, the institute is one of the leading companies in this field.

The acquisition marks another milestone in InSites Consulting’s buy-and-build strategy, strengthening its presence in Europe while bolstering its position as the global leader in insight communities. InSites Consulting is a portfolio company of Mentha Capital, based in Amsterdam.

Happy Thinking People is the group’s fourth acquisition in the European region, following that of creative crowdsourcing leader eÿeka in April 2019, online insight community innovator Join the Dots in July 2019, and cultural and creative consultancy Space Doctors in December 2021.

Happy Thinking People will continue operating under its brand name. The Happy Thinking People team will be onboarded in the integrated organization, future forward uniting over 900 people across 23 locations, and is about €120 million strong in revenues.

Atares (Partner Moritz von Laffert) has orchestrated the entire sales process up to closing. This was a complex cross-border transaction, with multiple strands. Firstly the shareholder structure of the three legally independent companies in Germany, France and Switzerland was intertwined; then the private equity company involved, Mentha Capital, is based in Amsterdam (Netherlands); finally, the owner of the acquirer company is based in Ghent (Belgium).
Sven Arn, CEO of Happy Thinking People and future shareholder of InSites Consuting says: “Moritz von Laffert, as partner of atares, accompanied the eight shareholders in three countries in this in parts complex transaction with a lot of expertise and finesse.”
Thomas Schindlbeck, Co-CEO of Happy Thinking People, adds: “Moritz’s tireless and motivating commitment – especially in challenging phases – has contributed significantly to the success of the transaction, for which I would like to thank him personally.”

Read more about the atares range of services here

About Happy Thinking People

Founded in Munich in 1989, withadditional offices in Berlin, Zurich and Paris, Happy Thinking People is a leading international institute for marketing- and innovation research.
Following the credo “People Understanding”, the company works closely with its clients to translatein-depth understanding of highly diverse target groups into successful brand, product and service strategies. In 2021, the institute was voted Germany’s No. 1 in the category of innovation and creativity in the image study by marktforschung.de. In 2020, Happy Thinking People won the renowned GOR Best Practice Award.
For more information, please visit www.happythinkingpeople.com

About InSites Consulting

Founded in 1997, InSites Consulting is a next-generation insights agency and global market leader in online communities. With a team of 900+ people across 23 offices, they make consumer-centric decision making a reality for over a third of the world’s leading brands including BBC World, GSK, L’Oréal, Nestlé, Philips, Uber and Unilever.
For more information, please visit: https://www.insites-consulting.com/.

About atares

Atares is the digital M&A boutique for technology-driven midcap companies in Germany and sees itself as a pioneer for the digitalization of the M&A industry. Founded in 2001, atares has advised more than 200 transactions in more than 20 years. The focus is on transaction volumes between EUR 10 and 100 million of mostly owner-managed companies. Since November 2023, the company formerly known as Proventis Partners, Munich, has been operating under the new company name atares GmbH. Atares has long-standing personal contacts with corporate and Private Equity investors and M&A advisors in Europe, North and South America and Asia. Highly specialized expertise for the market, empathy for people and passion make atares a sought-after M&A partner for the tech champions of tomorrow. More than 20 employees at atares in Munich and Düsseldorf manage their projects via the in-house developed digital M&A dealfloor (dealfloor.co) – for value-adding, efficient transactions with the best user experience.


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*At the time of the transaction, atares traded under the name Proventis Partners GmbH Muenchen