Nielsen Soars on $16 Billion Deal with PE Consortium to Go Private

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Nielsen Soars on $16 Billion Deal with PE Consortium to Go Private
Credit: © Reuters.

By Dhirendra Tripathi – Nielsen (NYSE: NLSN ) stock surged by 22% in premarket trading Tuesday after the TV-ratings company agreed to be acquired by a consortium for $16 billion with freedom to go to the market for a superior proposal.

The consortium comprises Evergreen Coast Capital, private equity affiliate of Elliott Investment Management, Brookfield Business Partners (NYSE: BBU ) and others.

The all-cash offer values each Nielsen share at $28 apiece, 26% higher than the stock’s Monday close of $22.21. A previous offer made by the consortium was rejected by Nielsen owing to lower valuations.

The transaction, expected to close in the second half of 2022, will also need the U.K. court approval.

A competing bidder who makes a superior proposal will bear a $102 million termination fee that is payable by Nielsen if it terminates the current transaction. The “go-shop” period expires in 45 days.

Nielsen said it will drop its share buyback proposal earlier approved by the board.

The company has been working on growing beyond its bread-and-butter TV rating business as more people shift to streaming. To cater to the clients’ need to better gauge the new audience, Nielsen now offers solutions enabling cross-platform linking and universal search. It has launched campaign measurement in 40 new markets and global expansion with leading digital publishers.

As a result, fourth-quarter revenue  rose 2.5% to $894 million while adjusted profit per share jumped about 44% to 46 cents to beat estimates.

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