NEWS22 November 2013

Nielsen chief David Calhoun to join private equity group

North America People

US — Nielsen CEO David Calhoun is to join private equity firm Blackstone as senior managing director and head of private equity portfolio operations.

Blackstone was part of the consortium that led the €7.7bn buyout of Nielsen (then known as VNU) back in 2006. Calhoun was brought in to lead Nielsen soon after.

In his new role, Calhoun will oversee a team of 21 professionals within the portfolio operations group, which partners with the CEOs of Blackstone portfolio companies to drive “key value creation initiatives”.

Earlier this month, Nielsen announced that Calhoun was stepping down as CEO to become executive chairman of the firm in January 2014.

Before joining Nielsen, he was vice-chairman of The General Electric Company and president and chief executive officer of GE Infrastructure.

  • In related news, Nielsen’s private equity owners have announced a secondary offering of common stock. Goldman Sachs will act as underwriters, with 30m shares being offered for sale. The last trade in Nielsen stock yesterday was priced at $40.21 per share. At that price, the secondary offering will return $1.2bn to selling stockholders before fees.