Nielsen to be sold to private equity, Elliott and Brookfield, for $16 billion

Nielsen to be sold to private equity, Elliott and Brookfield, for $16 billion
Nielsen One Roadmap

Nielsen yesterday announced that it has agreed to be acquired by a private equity consortium led by Elliott Investment Management and Brookfield Business Partners, in an all-cash transaction valued at approximately $16 billion.

“After months of deep market analysis, industry diligence and management reviews, we are firmly convinced that Nielsen will continue to be the gold standard for audience measurement as it executes on the Nielsen ONE roadmap,” said Managing Partner Jesse Cohn and Senior Portfolio Manager Marc Steinberg on behalf of Evergreen and Elliott. “Having first invested in Nielsen nearly four years ago, we have a unique appreciation for the Company’s ongoing relevance to the global, digital-first media ecosystem.”

Elliott had past investments in eBay, AT&T, SoftBank, SAP, and Twitter since 2019.

The Nielsen Board of Directors voted unanimously to support the acquisition proposal. Nielsen says the offer represents a 10% premium over the Consortium’s previous proposal and a 60% premium over Nielsen’s unaffected stock price as of March 11, 2022.

The transaction needs approval by Nielsen shareholders, that will receive $28 per share if they approve the deal.

“After a thorough assessment, the Board determined that this transaction represents an attractive outcome for our shareholders by providing a cash takeout at a substantial premium, while supporting Nielsen’s commitment to our clients, employees and stakeholders. The Consortium sees the full potential of Nielsen’s leadership position in the media industry and the unique value we deliver for our clients worldwide,” said James A. Attwood, Chairperson of Nielsen’s Board of Directors.

Nielsen it's under pressure for more innovation. Bharad Ramesh, GroupM’s executive director of research and investment analytics, said to AdExchanger that "Nielsen One is great on paper - but it’s late."

Nielsen is a global company providing measurement across channels, and audience insights, data and analytics. Founded in 1923, Nielsen had 44,000 employees in 2020, and a revenue of $6.290 billion.

Last year, Nielsen acquired TVTY, a TV attribution provider and ad monitoring company based in Paris, France, for an undisclosed amount.

Nielsen went public in January 2011 on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol “NLSN”. Nielsen brand is most often associated with television ratings.

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