The media measurement firm Nielsen Holdings, facing intense competition and criticism as it tries to make the transition to digital audience tracking from its longstanding TV business, said on Tuesday that it had agreed to be acquired by a private equity consortium for $16bn, including debt.
The group, led by Evergreen Coast Capital — an affiliate of the activist firm Elliott Investment Management — and Brookfield Business Partners, offered $28 a share for Nielsen. The price was a 60 percent premium over Nielsen’s stock price on March 11, before rumors of a deal surfaced, and a 10.2 percent improvement on the consortium’s previous proposal, which Nielsen rejected this month.
The Media Rating Council stripped Nielsen of its accreditation for local and national television measurement last year. Last month, Discovery and Omnicom Media Group said that advertising clients including AT&T and State Farm would experiment with using video audience estimates from Comscore and VideoAmp, two other media measurement firms. Last week, NBCUniversal said it would offer advertisers guarantees using data from iSpot rather than relying solely on Nielsen.
Read more: The NY Times
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