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Nielsen ‘considering sale of business’
Posted on Wednesday, 12 September 2018 13:04
New York-headquartered data and measurement company Nielsen Holdings, best known for its television ratings system, is mulling over a potential sale of the company, according to Reuters.

In a statement picked up by the news provider, the firm said it is conducting a review of strategic alternatives after activist investor Elliott Management urged it to do so.

According to Reuters, the group has appointed JPMorgan Chase, Guggenheim Securities and Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz to advise on the process.

People familiar with the situation told the news provider that a number of private equity investors have expressed an interest in a takeover of Nielsen.

Reuters noted that the decision to consider a sale of the entire group is a new development as it had previously only been thinking of offloading its “buy” division and retaining the “watch” unit, which provides television, radio and online viewership and listenership data.

However, the strategic review has now been widened, meaning that multiple options are being examined.

The statement picked up by Reuters cautions that there is no guarantee of a deal being reached.

Elliott Management has not commented on the report.

Nielsen, which has been publicly traded in New York since January 2011, posted revenue of USD 3.26 billion for the six months to 30th June 2018, up from the USD 3.17 billion recorded over the same timeframe of 2017.

Total liabilities stood at USD 12.45 billion as of 30th June, compared to USD 12.42 billion at the end of 2017.

There have already been 188 deals worth a combined USD 1.39 billion targeting marketing research and public opinion polling companies announced worldwide since the beginning of 2018, according to Zephyr, the M&A database published by Bureau van Dijk.

Although there are still more than three months to go until the end of the year, value has already surpassed 2017, when deals worth an aggregate USD 994.00 million were signed off, although is some way short of 2016’s USD 4.81 billion and the record high of USD 11.63 billion (2006).

Interestingly, Elliott Management’s purchase of an 8.4 per cent stake in Nielsen is the sector’s largest deal of this year to date, at USD 652.00 million.

© Zephus Ltd