Nielsen Stock Jumps on Word of $15 Billion Elliott Buyout

Nielsen stock was up more than 30% in Monday trading following a report that the TV measurement company is in talks to be acquired by a group of private-equity firms, including Elliott Management, for about $15 billion including debt.

New Nielsen Logo

The Wall Street Journal described the talks with Nielsen as advanced and reported that financing is being arranged.

In late trading Monday (March 14), Nielsen stock traded at $22.96 a share, up more than $5 from Friday’s close. On Tuesday in late-morning trading the stock had held onto those gains at $23.24. Nielsen said it doesn’t comment on market rumors or speculation.

Elliott has owned a stake in Nielsen since 2018 and was critical about its financial performance in 2020. Pressure from Elliott led to Nielsen cutting costs and selling its Global Connect business for $2.7 billion in 2021.

Nielsen remains the leader in audience measurement but is under pressure from the media companies that represent its largest clients. Those clients’ criticism of Nielsen has become more vocal and they have been increasingly active in seeking alternatives from other newer measurement companies. ■

Jon Lafayette

Jon has been business editor of Broadcasting+Cable since 2010. He focuses on revenue-generating activities, including advertising and distribution, as well as executive intrigue and merger and acquisition activity. Just about any story is fair game, if a dollar sign can make its way into the article. Before B+C, Jon covered the industry for TVWeek, Cable World, Electronic Media, Advertising Age and The New York Post. A native New Yorker, Jon is hiding in plain sight in the suburbs of Chicago.