NEWS26 April 2010

Private equity consortium plots Nielsen IPO – report

M&A North America

US— The private equity companies that own Nielsen are looking to float the firm this year, according to a report in the Financial Times.

The report claims that private equity houses Alpinvest, Blackstone, Carlyle, Hellman & Friedman, Kohlberg Kravis Roberts and Thomas H. Lee will start auditioning banks next month ahead of an initial public offering (IPO).

Nielsen’s owners hope that the offering will value the consumer and media research firm at up to $21bn, the FT said. The private equity consortium took control of Nielsen, then VNU, in 2006 for around $10bn.

A Nielsen spokeswoman said: “Our longstanding policy is that The Nielsen Company does not comment on industry speculation or rumours.” Calls to members of the private equity consortium had not been returned at the time of publication.

The research giant, headed by CEO David Calhoun (pictured), is due to report its first quarter results this Friday, 30 April.