Nielsen agrees to US$16 billion sale

Nielsen has agreed a deal to go private for US$16 billion.

After rebuffing a takeover attempt from a consortium including Elliott Management last week, Nielsen has accepted an improved offer from a private equity consortium led by Elliott’s tech-focused private equity arm Evergreen and Brookfield.

The deal offers US$28 per share in an all-cash transaction valued at approximately US$16 billion, including the assumption of debt. By contrast, the previous proposal only offered US$25 per share for an overall value of around US$15 billion.

The proposal, which has unanimously been supported by Nielsen’s board, 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.

Elliott has long pushed for change at Nielsen, and utilised its 4.6% stake to force the company to consider splitting into two companies in 2019. This plan was scrapped a year later, when Nielsen sold its consumer goods data unit for US$2.7 billion.

James A. Attwood, chairperson of Nielsen’s Board of Directors, said: “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.”

Dave Gregory, managing partner, Brookfield Business Partners, said: “Nielsen is deeply embedded in the media ecosystem and a trusted service provider to its customers. As a private company, Nielsen will be even better positioned to deliver the best measures of consumers’ rapidly changing behaviours across all channels and platforms. We are pleased to invest in this iconic company and help lead the industry into the next generation of audience measurement.”

Tags: Nielsen

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