Nielsen: $15bn investor bid
March 16, 2022
Nielsen is to be acquired in a $15 billion (€13.6bn) deal from a consortium of private equity buyers led by Elliott Management and Brookfield Asset Management.
Elliott and Brookfield are reported as finalising a financing with multiple banks, reports the FT. Its sources said the transaction could still fail and talks are ongoing.
A deal would signal that private equity buyers remain confident Nielsen’s core business of measuring advertising reach on cable and broadcast networks has a future despite being threatened by the rise of streaming platforms such as Netflix, Prime Video and Hulu. In recent years Nielsen has struggled to retain its dominance as an intermediary for buyers of advertising.
Elliott’s is a hedge fund best-known for buying small stakes and waging bruising activist campaigns at target companies, but now seems to be acquisition private equity dealmaking.
Elliott first invested in Nielsen in 2018 and had earlier forced the media data company to explore a sale which attracted multiple bids from private equity groups.
At a $15 billion enterprise value, the proposed takeover would value Nielsen at a roughly 60 per cent premium to the group’s share market value.