Private equity majors make second round of Nielsen bidding, market cap hits $9.3bn – report


A pair of private equity consortiums have reportedly made it to the second round of bidding for television ratings giant Nielsen, which has a current market value of about $9.3bn.

Blackstone and Hellman & Friedman are leading a buyout group which has advanced to the next round, Reuters reported, adding that a consortium including Advent International and the private equity arm of Goldman Sachs was also in the running.

Fellow private equity firms Apollo and Bain Capital also made it to the next round of bidding, which is expected to be completed by March, Reuters sources said.

New York-listed Nielsen was previously backed by buyout majors including Blackstone, Carlyle and KKR, which gradually sold down their stakes following the company’s 2011 IPO.

Multiple private equity firms are understood to have shown interest in Nielsen since last summer, when activity investor Elliott Management revealed it had collected an 8.4 per cent stake in the company to help push plans to seel the business.

Nielsen uses set top boxes to collect data about viewing habits in more than 30 countries, capturing not only what channel is being watched, but also who is watching and when, including “time-shifted” viewing.

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