Nielsen Completes Sale Of Global Connect Business


The long-awaited spin of Nielsen Holdings plc‘s sale of what was recently rebranded as NielsenIQ is complete.

The multinational company that is the dominant ratings data and consumer research provider to U.S. TV and radio broadcasting and cable companies has completed its sale of Nielsen IQ — formerly branded as Nielsen’s Global Connect business — to affiliates of Advent International, in partnership with James “Jim” Peck.

In making the announcement, Nielsen CEO David Kenny thanked the NielsenIQ team “for their invaluable commitment and contributions over the years,” while acknowledging that, even after the spin-off, a “strong working relationship” is anticipated.

Speaking of the post-spin Nielsen, Kenny continued, “This is a transformative time for Nielsen. We have redesigned our products, our business platform, and our operating model, positioning Nielsen to better deliver the solutions our clients need in the rapidly changing global media ecosystem. We are now fully aligned around three essential solutions —Audience Measurement, Audience Outcomes and Gracenote Content Services — that are designed to drive growth by leveraging a single media platform across a global digital-first footprint.”

Nielsen Holdings on November 1 announced that it had signed a definitive agreement under which affiliates of Advent International, one of the largest global private equity investors, in partnership with former TransUnion CEO Peck, will acquire the Nielsen Global Connect business for $2.7 billion.

The agreed-to price is subject to working capital, cash, debt-like items and other customary adjustments.

Nielsen also received warrants in the new company exercisable in certain circumstances.

David Rawlinson will remain CEO of NielsenIQ.

The deal’s closing comes just days after Nielsen and Roku announced a new strategic alliance that the companies believe will help shape the future of media and TV measurement.

J.P. Morgan Securities LLC and Guggenheim Securities, LLC are acting as financial advisors to Nielsen, and Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz, Clifford Chance LLP, DLA Piper, and Baker McKenzie are serving as legal advisors to Nielsen. Ropes & Gray LLP and Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP are serving as legal counsel to Advent and BofA Securities is serving as lead financial advisor, with Deutsche Bank Securities Inc., RBC Capital Markets and UBS Investment Bank also advising. Financing for the transaction is being arranged and provided by Bank of America, UBS Investment Bank, Barclays, Deutsche Bank AG New York, HSBC, RBC Capital Markets, MUFG and Wells Fargo.