NEWS7 November 2019

Nielsen to split into two businesses

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US – Following a strategic review, Nielsen has announced it will spin-off its Global Connect business and create two independent, publicly traded companies – the Global Media business and the Global Connect business.

James attwood nielsen_crop

The strategic review was led by James Attwood (pictured), chairman of Nielsen’s board of directors, with the company claiming the split would ensure a sharper strategic focus and competitive advantage.

Last year the company said its strategic review would look at options including separating the businesses, continuing as it was or selling the whole business.

After the separation is complete, Nielsen’s current chief executive officer, David Kenny, will be CEO of Nielsen’s Global Media business and a search has begun for a CEO for the Global Connect business, with both external and internal candidates considered.

Nielsen Global Media will focus on its media market metrics while Nielsen Global Connect will carry out the data and insights work in the consumer packaged goods and retailer arenas.

Attwood said: "Nielsen has two strong and global franchises – Global Media and Global Connect. Following an extensive review, which included an in-depth analysis of our businesses, strategies and market opportunities, the board concluded that separating into two independent, publicly traded companies is the best path to position each business for long term success and maximise value creation."

"As independent companies, both Nielsen – the Global Media business – and the new company consisting of Global Connect will enjoy added flexibility and further strengthen their paths toward a new phase of growth, productivity and industry leadership."

Kenny added: "Both the Global Media and Global Connect businesses are independently essential to the industries they serve, but each business has unique dynamics. As two independent companies, we can better drive decision making with velocity and push key initiatives to accelerate performance enhancements of each business."

With the completion of the strategic review, James Attwood resumes his role as chairman of the board.

Separately, Nielsen announced its third quarter 2019 results which saw third quarter revenues of $1.6bn, up 1.0%, compared to the previous year. 

Nielsen Global Media revenues increased 3.9% to $870m while Nielsen Global Connect revenues decreased 2.2% to $746m, compared to the previous year.