Nielsen Turns Down Latest Acquisition Offer From Private Equity Group

Nielsen Holdings PLC has rejected an acquisition offer by a private equity group, which includes the activist firm Elliott Management, in a deal that would have valued the company at $15 billion.

In a statement, the TV and video measurement firm said the offer “significantly undervalued the Company and did not adequately compensate shareholders for Nielsen’s growth prospects.”

Chair of Nielsen’s board of directors James A. Attwood said in a statement, “We continue to have strong confidence in the management team and Nielsen’s strategy to create long-term value for shareholders. We are always open to exploring any avenue to create value for shareholders, but the Board is in agreement with WindAcre, one of our largest shareholders, that the Consortium’s proposal significantly undervalues the Company. Further reflecting our confidence in the Company, we plan to commence share repurchases, which we expect to be an important element of our ongoing balanced capital allocation strategy.”

Nielsen has been scrutinized for their methodologies in recent months. Last year, MRC’s board voted to strip Nielsen of its accreditation for local and national TV measurement after relationships with media companies soured. Nielsen vowed to rework their measurement methodology in the streaming era, but has yet to roll their new plan out. In its absence, media companies like NBCUniversal and WarnerMedia have created alternative metrics to accurately tabulate total streaming views with other vendors like iSpot, comScore and VideoAmp.

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