Nielsen to be acquired by private equity firms for $21.6bn

Global data measurement business, Nielsen holdings has entered into an agreement to be acquired by a private equity consortium for a total price of US$16 billion (A$21.6 billion), including the assumption of debt.

The group is led by Evergreen Coast Capital Corporation and Brookfield Business Partners L.P, with the agreement made for US$28 (A$37.3) per share.

Nielsen gathers TV, radio, and digital viewership data. It is set to launch its Nielsen Identity System in Australia on Friday, to improve the scale and accuracy of its open web methodology for digital ad ratings.

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.”

The agreement comes shortly after the data firm rejected an earlier bid from the group.

Managing partner of Brookfield Business Partners, Dave Gregory said: “As a private company, Nielsen will be even better positioned to deliver the best measures of consumers’ rapidly changing behaviors across all channels and platforms.”

The deal is subject to approval by shareholders, regulatory approvals and other customary closing conditions. If all conditions are met, it is expected to close in H2 2022.

In Australia, the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) is set for its long-awaited switch in providers for the planning, buying, and reporting of digital audience measurement data next month.

In August, the IAB decided to ditch its decade long partnership with Nielsen, moving to Ipsos’ Iris platform.

Nielsen was contacted locally for comment, but declined to add anything further at this stage.

At the time, CEO of IAB Australia Gai Le Roy told Mumbrella that Ipsos stood out “due to experience, proven track record, willingness to invest in the Australian market, and a good strong solid measurement management team locally and globally”.

Locally, CEO of OzTam, Doug Peiffer said: “It’s business as usual: OzTAM continues to work with the local Nielsen team to build out and deliver our products and services.” Doug Peiffer, CEO OzTAM


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