Ratings giant Nielsen is to be acquired by a private equity consortium consisting led by Evergreen Coast Capital Corporation and Brookfield Business Partners at a cost of $16 billion. The acquisition is subject to approval by Nielsen shareholders and is expected to close in the latter half of the year. Nielsen had rejected a $9 billion bid last week.
The new offer is $6.5 billion over Nielsen’s market cap and 60% premium over the share price before news broke about the negotiations. At the end of last year, the company reported $894 million in revenues and a 23.94% net profit margin.
TV ratings giant. Nielsen was founded in 1923. Its initial business consisted of market research and surveys, but it became known as the major TV ratings brand after launching its TV audience measurement service in 1950. Today, it’s offerings include digital measurement across online, mobile and emerging technologies.
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Why we care. In a phrase, digital measurement. The ever-expanding digital eco-system enables audience behavior across multiple channels, including a range of mobile channels and CTV. There is a growing interest in measuring audiences and their responses across these digital channels as well as linear TV and IRL. Nielsen must be seen as well-positioned to grow into the cross-channel measurement role.
The $16 billion price tag is likely to put this deal in the top 10 most expensive this year.