Nielsen seeks $1.5bn in delayed IPO

Nielsen, the audience measurement and consumer tracking company, has revived plans for its initial public offering, but lowered its expectations of what it will be able to raise.

The company, which was taken private in 2006, has confirmed it will look to sell 71.4 million shares, or 20 per cent of the company, at a range of $20-$22 per share.

At the midpoint of the range, it would raise $1.5 billion before expenses, valuing its equity at $7.5 billion. Last June it set a target of raising $1.75 billion, but increased this to $2 billion in August.

The group, which tracks broadcast and online audiences and monitors what consumers spend in stores, said in a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission that it would use most of the net proceeds of about $1.42 billion to reduce its total debt, which stood at $8.6 billion on September 30th 2010.

JPMorgan and Morgan Stanley are lead underwriters, with the list of other underwriters led by Citigroup, Credit Suisse, Deutsche Bank and Goldman Sachs. Nielsen said it expected to raise about $240 million in a concurrent offering of convertible subordinated bonds.

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