Nielsen, the media analysis agency well-known for its TV rankings, remains to be considering an outright sale, fueled by continued personal fairness curiosity, based on individuals accustomed to the matter.
Introduction Worldwide is working with Goldman Sachs Group on a bid, in addition to Apollo World Administration, mentioned the individuals, who requested to not be named as a result of the discussions are personal. Introduction and Goldman have persistently proven curiosity and not too long ago attended Nielsen administration presentation, though it is unclear if the consortium might be prepared to pay sufficient to get a deal performed, two of the individuals mentioned.
A sale is not imminent, and whereas Nielsen is a prepared vendor, a deal for the corporate has all the time been difficult due to the corporate’s dimension. Nielsen has a market capitalization of $9.Three billion and has an extra $8.Four billion in whole debt. An acquisition of the complete firm could be one of many largest personal takeovers in years and nicely above the standard dimension of an acquisition for Introduction, particularly. Last bids aren’t due for a number of weeks, two of the individuals mentioned.
Spokespeople for Introduction and Nielsen declined to remark. A spokesman for Apollo could not instantly be reached for remark.
Activist hedge fund Elliott Administration, which has an 8.Four p.c within the firm, has pushed Nielsen to discover a purchaser. Nielsen mentioned in September that it was working with funding banks JPMorgan Chase and Guggenheim Securities, in addition to regulation agency Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz, on an “expanded” evaluate of strategic alternate options, together with a sale of the corporate.
Nielsen started holding administration displays for potential consumers in January after naming David Kenny as its new CEO, individuals accustomed to the matter informed CNBC in December. Whereas each Blackstone Group and Bain Capital had met with the corporate and regarded an acquisition, neither remains to be concerned within the course of, mentioned individuals accustomed to the matter.
“The Nielsen Board of Administrators continues to maneuver forward with its strategic evaluate, which features a broad vary of choices, together with persevering with to function as a public, impartial firm; a separation of both Nielsen’s Media or Join phase; or a sale of the corporate,” Nielsen mentioned in a press release. “There could be no assurance that this evaluate will end in a selected transaction or different different. The corporate will present updates on the evaluate when it determines that additional disclosure is suitable or required.”
Kenny joined Nielsen after serving as the top of IBM‘s Watson AI platform and portfolio enterprise. He was additionally previously chairman and CEO of the Climate Firm, a portion of which he bought to IBM. His hiring piqued the curiosity of a number of personal fairness companies due to his background with leverage buyouts, based on two individuals accustomed to the matter. Kenny spent a decade at Bain from 1987 to 1997.
Nielsen shares have slumped lately as income development has stalled. 2018 income fell about 1% from 2017. The corporate’s “Watch” phase, which incorporates TV rankings, has been extra profitable than its “Purchase” phase, which offers advertising and marketing details about what individuals purchase on a world foundation. Whereas Watch income within the fourth quarter of 2018 decreased 3.5% to $881 million, Purchase gross sales declined 8.4% to $777 million, which Nielsen blamed on decreased spending and demand from massive multinational companies.