Nielsen rejects takeover approach from consortium that valued at $9.1 bln

Industry:    2 months ago

Nielsen Holdings said that the company has rejected an unsolicited acquisition proposal from a private equity consortium that valued the TV ratings company at $9.13 billion.

The consortium had proposed to acquire Nielsen at $25.40 per share, which the board unanimously determined would significantly under value the company, it said in a statement.

Earlier this month the Wall Street Journal reported that a consortium of private equity firms that included Elliott Management was is in talks to buy the company for about $15 billion including debt.

Activist investor Elliott had pushed Nielsen for a sale in 2018, forcing the market research company to consider splitting into two publicly traded companies a year later.

But that plan was scrapped in 2020, when Nielsen decided to sell its consumer goods data unit for $2.7 billion to sharpen focus on its media business.

Elliott owns 4.6% of Nielsen and is among the top 10 shareholders, according to Refinitiv data.

Elliott did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Nielsen’s rejection.

The WindAcre Partnership LLC, one of Nielsen’s largest shareholders, said it welcomed the company’s decision to reject the offer.

Nielsen is known for its ratings that are used to determine advertising rates for TV commercials, but the rise of streaming services such as Netflix and Disney+ over cable TV has been limiting how Nielsen can measure ratings.

The company also said it intends to commence share repurchases under a previously approved $1 billion share repurchase authorization when the company’s trading window opens.
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