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IS NIELSEN HEADED FOR THE SALES BLOCK?

The investment company Elliott Management Corp. has taken a significant stake in Nielsen Holdings with the intention of getting the TV ratings and music sales company to sell itself, The Wall Street Journal has reported.

The hedge fund owns 8.4% of Nielsen, which owns the former SoundScan music sales and streaming tracking company. Its stake is worth about $660m.

Nielsen has a market value of almost $8b, but is the S&P 500’s third-worst performer in 2018; its shares have dipped about 40% this year. The company had a weak second quarter and revenue estimates for the year have been lowered. In addition, CEO Mitch Barns has already announced he is leaving at year’s end.

Nielsen has mentioned selling a portion of its business but the Journal reports that Elliott is pushing for a review that would result in sale of the whole kit and caboodle.

Private investment groups have shown interest in information-services companies recently, provided the price is right. Nielsen was a private company beginning in 2006 and went public in 2011.

 

 

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