NEWS3 June 2010

Nielsen files for $1.75bn initial public offering

Financials North America

US— The private equity consortium that owns Nielsen, the world’s largest consumer and media research group, is looking to raise $1.75bn in an initial public offering (IPO).

Documents filed with the SEC today by Nielsen Holdings did not detail how many shares will be on offer, which exchange they will list on or provide information about pricing.

Cash raised from the offering will be used to pay off some of the firm’s existing debts and for “general corporate purposes”, according to the documents.

Rumours that Nielsen’s owners were planning to launch an IPO this year first surfaced in April with a report in the Financial Times.

The consortium, made up of Alpinvest, Blackstone, Carlyle, Hellman & Friedman, Kohlberg Kravis Roberts and Thomas H. Lee, bought Nielsen – then called VNU – for around $10bn in 2006.

The ratings firm, which is headed by David Calhoun (pictured) reported a 9% increase in revenue to $1.2bn for the first quarter of 2010.