A consortium of private equity firms is reportedly in talks to buy Nielsen in a deal worth US$15 billion.
According to the Wall Street Journal, the consortium which includes Elliott Management would also assume Nielsen’s debts as a part of the deal.
Elliott is one of Nielsen’s top ten shareholders, holding a 4.6% stake in the embattled measurement firm. It previously pushed Nielsen for a sale in 2018 and subsequently forced it to consider splitting into two companies in 2019.
However, Nielsen would go on to sell its consumer goods data unit for US$2.7 billion in 2020 in a move which scrapped the split.
In the time since, Nielsen has suffered public ignominy for a perceived inability to keep up with shifting consumption habits. This is largely due to the rise of streaming services, which Nielsen has historically not considered in its measurements.
The company’s shares have lost almost 15% of their value so far in 2021, with Nielsen having a market cap of over US$6.25 billion. Shares surged more than 35% after the WSJ broke the news.