Nielsen accepts soft $10 billion offer from private equity group


March 29 (Reuters) – Nielsen Holdings (NLSN.N) agreed on Tuesday to go private for $10.06 billion in a sweetened deal with private equity firms led by Elliott Management and Brookfield Asset Management, days after the TV rating company rejected an offer from the group.

The deal offers $28 for each Nielsen share, a 60% premium since early March when the talks were first announced. Nielsen shares jumped about 21% by midday.

Nielsen had earlier this month rejected an offer of $25.40 per share from the consortium without naming suitors.

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The offering was led by Brookfield and Elliott Management’s technology-focused private equity arm, Evergreen Coast Capital Corp, a source familiar with the matter said on Tuesday.

Nielsen collects audience data across TV, radio and digital platforms that are used by advertisers and others to determine prime viewing times, but this has come under pressure as more and more cable cutters switch to streaming.

“As a private company, Nielsen will be even better positioned to provide the best metrics of rapidly changing consumer behaviors across all channels and platforms,” said Dave Gregory, managing partner at Brookfield Business Partners, who invests approximately $2.65 billion in preferred shares. .

Activist investor Elliott had pushed Nielsen to sell in 2018, causing the market research firm to consider splitting into two publicly traded companies a year later.

But the plan was scrapped in 2020 when Nielsen decided to sell its consumer goods data unit for $2.7 billion to focus more on its media business.

Including debt, Tuesday’s deal is valued at $16 billion. The transaction is expected to be finalized in the second half of 2022.

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Reporting by Nivedita Balu and Eva Mathews in Bengaluru; Editing by Arun Koyyur

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