Nielsen Holdings has agreed to be acquired by a private equity
consortium led by Evergreen Coast Capital Corp., an affiliate of Elliott Investment Management, and Brookfield Business Partners, for $16 billion in an all-cash share and debt-assumption deal.The deal gives shareholders $28 a share. Nielsen’s board of directors now says the agreement is 10% premium over a previous offer. In addition, it is 60% premium over Nielsen's stock price
as of March 11, 2022.
In a previous offer, Nielsen said a review of the consortium’s proposal would have a value of $25.40 per share.
in the midst of troubling measurement issues for Nielsen. The company has put its hopes around a new cross-platform effort -- Nielsen One. This is where the consortium believes Nielsen continues to
have strong value.
"After months of deep market analysis, industry diligence and management reviews, we are firmly convinced that Nielsen will continue to be the gold standard
for audience measurement as it executes on the Nielsen One roadmap," said Jesse Cohn, managing partner and Marc Steinberg, senior portfolio manager on behalf of Evergreen Coast Capital and Elliott
Investment Management, in a joint statement.
Nielsen has had some major missteps over the past two years -- including under-counting of TV viewership due to lack of maintenance
in Nielsen national TV panel homes due the pandemic. This led to the MRC suspending its accreditation of its national and local service.
In addition, last December, Nielsen
said there was undercounting of its out-of-home viewing since September 2020. At the time, it said, the error had “no impact to most telecasts,” except for some live sports
As a result, TV networks -- in partnership with media agencies and other measurement companies -- have accelerated efforts to find alternative TV measures and/or
“currencies” by which to do business with TV marketers.
Sean Cunningham, president and chief executive officer of the Video Advertising Bureau
(VAB), a TV network advertising group, said in a statement:
“For any version of Nielsen, current as-is or next after-sale, the ad industry needs are identical:
Deep disclosures and real transparency, commitment to the modernization that sharply increased competition demands, and increased collaboration rather than collision with their clients and customers.
We are rooting hard for these overdue outcomes from any version of Nielsen."