Nielsen Holdings is splitting into two companies -- one focused on marketing services and the other focused on media.
Nielsen says that as two publicly traded companies, it will allow each business to grow faster and more efficiently.
Nielsen Global Connect -- its marketing services unit -- will become a publicly traded company, giving shares to Nielsen shareholders.
David Kenny, the current CEO of Nielsen, will head the media business, Nielsen Global Media -- the larger of the two units. Nielsen has begun a search for a chief executive officer of the Global Connect business.
During its third-quarter reporting period, Nielsen Connect revenues sank 2.2% to $746 million, with both its two units also down. Its Measure business lost 2.8% to $530 million, while its Activate unit, slipping 1% to $216 million.
Nielsen media business posted growth in the period -- up 4% to $870 million, with Audience Measurement growing 4.2% and its Plan/Optimize business up 3.3% to $249 million.
Overall company-wide revenues were up 1% to $1.6 billion. Nielsen posted a big net loss of $472 million versus net income of $96 million in the third quarter of 2018. Nielsen says the loss was attributed to write-down of $1 billion related to goodwill of its Connect business.
For months, Nielsen said it had been conducting a “strategic review” of the company, including a possible sale of parts of all of its businesses.
Todd Juenger, media analyst for Bernstein Research, says: “The question remains, why no sale (at least of Connect)? If the opportunity is so great, where were the buyers? We believe most [Nielsen] shareholders would rather have cash for the Connect business, and be done with it, than have shares in it as a separate entity.”