Shares of Nielsen Holdings, the parent of The Nielsen Company, shot up in trading Wednesday on the New York Stock Exchange. The initial public offering of more than $2 billion in stock and convertible bonds had priced Tuesday evening at $23 per share, which exceeded the projected range of $20-22.
Trading in the first two hours Wednesday approached 40 million shares, with the stock opening at $24.75 and shooting as high as $25.64. By the time the closing bell sounded more than 52 million shares had traded and the stock cosed at $25.00, up 8.7% from its IPO pricing. The high for the day, reached in the afternoon, was $25.78.
Nielsen sold over 71.4 million shares of stock at a total price of over $1.64 billion. The underwriters have a 30-day option to purchase up to 10.7 million additional shares to cover over-allotments. Given the strong pricing, it is likely that the entire greenshoe will be picked up, which would add nearly a quarter billion dollars and take the entire stock offering to just shy of $1.89 billion.
In addition, Nielsen sold $250 million of bonds with a mandatory conversion to stock in 2013. The underwriters also have an option to pick up an additional $37.5 million of the bonds. So, of all of the options are picked up the total sale will exceed $2.17 billion.
JP Morgan and Morgan Stanley led the successful offering. The list of additional participants reads like a Wall Street who’s who: Credit Suisse, Deutsche Bank Securities, Goldman, Sachs & Co. and Citi are serving as joint book-running managers for both offerings, with BofA Merrill Lynch, William Blair & Company, Guggenheim Securities, Wells Fargo Securities, Blaylock Robert Van, LLC, HSBC, Loop Capital Markets, Mizuho Securities USA Inc., Ramirez & Co., Inc. and The Williams Capital Group, L.P. are acting as co-managers.
RBR-TVBR observation: This is terrific news for every company in the media sector that might want to consider an IPO or the sale of additional stock. The Nielsen IPO was a huge success and the stock is running with the bulls. Also worth noting is that the IPO of Internet content company Demand Media also priced a buck above the top end of projections at $17, the offering size was increased by nearly $39 million to $151.3 million and the stock soared in Wednesday’s NYSE trading. Wall Street appears to have a good appetite for media stocks.