In a move that will free up cash that will help it complete its proposed $1.26 billion acquisition of Arbitron, Nielsen this morning announced a deal to sell its trade shows division to
Toronto-based private equity firm Onex Corp. for $950 million in cash. The deal, which is expected to close in the second quarter, will divest one of the largest operators of business-to-business
trade shows -- a business that Nielsen said generated $183 million in 2012.
Calling it a non-core business, CFO Brian West said: “We are thrilled to have this bump
up right against Arbitron” because the deal gives Nielsen a better cash position to complete its acquisition of Arbitron. He did not say exactly when that would happen, only that it would be
“as soon as the regulatory review comes to a close.”
The Federal Trade Commission currently is conducting its second review of Nielsen’s proposed
acquisition of Arbitron, which is the dominant supplier of radio audience measurement, as well as other media and marketing research services.
West reiterated what
Nielsen execs said in their recent earnings call, that the regulatory process should take another “two to four months” to complete.
West said the trade show
unit is the last “non-core” asset remaining in Nielsen’s portfolio.