Nielsen, the media analysis agency well-known for its TV rankings, remains to be considering an outright sale, fueled by continued personal fairness curiosity, in accordance with folks accustomed to the matter.
Creation Worldwide is working with Goldman Sachs Group on a bid, in addition to Apollo World Administration, mentioned the folks, who requested to not be named as a result of the discussions are personal. Creation and Goldman have persistently proven curiosity and lately attended Nielsen administration presentation, though it is unclear if the consortium shall be prepared to pay sufficient to get a deal completed, two of the folks mentioned.
A sale is not imminent, and whereas Nielsen is a prepared vendor, a deal for the corporate has at all times been difficult due to the corporate’s dimension. Nielsen has a market capitalization of $9.three billion and has a further $eight.four billion in whole debt. An acquisition of your complete firm can be one of many largest personal takeovers in years and properly above the standard dimension of an acquisition for Creation, particularly. Remaining bids aren’t due for a number of weeks, two of the folks mentioned.
Spokespeople for Creation and Nielsen declined to remark. A spokesman for Apollo could not instantly be reached for remark.
Activist hedge fund Elliott Administration, which has an eight.four % 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 legislation agency Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz, on an “expanded” assessment of strategic options, together with a sale of the corporate.
Nielsen started holding administration displays for potential patrons in January after naming David Kenny as its new CEO, folks accustomed to the matter instructed CNBC in December. Whereas each Blackstone Group and Bain Capital had met with the corporate and thought of an acquisition, neither remains to be concerned within the course of, mentioned folks accustomed to the matter.
“The Nielsen Board of Administrators continues to maneuver forward with its strategic assessment, 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 section; or a sale of the corporate,” Nielsen mentioned in an announcement. “There may be no assurance that this assessment will lead to a particular transaction or different different. The corporate will present updates on the assessment 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, in accordance with two folks accustomed to the matter. Kenny spent a decade at Bain from 1987 to 1997.
Nielsen shares have slumped lately as income progress has stalled. 2018 income fell about 1% from 2017. The corporate’s “Watch” section, which incorporates TV rankings, has been extra profitable than its “Purchase” section, which supplies advertising and marketing details about what folks purchase on a world foundation. Whereas Watch income within the fourth quarter of 2018 decreased three.5% to $881 million, Purchase gross sales declined eight.four% to $777 million, which Nielsen blamed on decreased spending and demand from massive multinational firms.