Nielsen and WPP to swap assets news
15 November 2008

The Nielsen Company and WPP have jointly announced the signing of a definitive agreement to swap certain assets.

As per the agreement, Nielsen will own 100 per cent of AGBNielsen Media Research, a leading international television audience media measurement business, by acquiring the 50 per cent stake currently held by WPP.

AGBNMR, Nielsen's North American television measurement business and Nielsen's media measurement businesses in online, mobile, advertising and radio measurement will form the global foundation of Nielsen's media product portfolio.

In return, Nielsen will transfer to WPP: first, the SRDS, the leading provider of media rates and data to the advertising industry; second, PERQ/HCI, which provides a range of services to give insights into media planning, trading and post campaign effectiveness in the field of healthcare; and third, its 11 per cent share in IBOPE PDM, IBOPE LA and IMI.Com, which are part of the IBOPE Group, a Latin American multinational firm based in Brazil, and the market leader specialising in media, market and opinion research.

WPP already holds a 31 per cent stake in IBOPE. These assets will be added to the Kantar Group, WPP's information, insight and consultancy division.

The transaction is expected to close by the year-end and originates from a regulatory need for WPP to dispose of either its AGBNMR stake or TNS's European television audience measurement business.

''In an increasingly digital world, it is essential for Nielsen to strengthen its global market position,'' said Nielsen chairman and CEO David Calhoun. ''As a fully integrated part of our company, AGBNMR will be an important part of our portfolio and better positioned to offer high quality measurement for its clients. We are confident that our AGBNMR colleagues and their clients will be an important asset to The Nielsen Company and we look forward to working with them more closely.

At the same time, we appreciate the value that SRDS and PERC/HCI have created for Nielsen and we are confident our colleagues in those businesses will continue to deliver important insights for clients as part of the Kantar Group.''

Eric Salama, CEO of Kantar, said: "The decision to dispose of our 50 per cent stake in AGBNielsen Media Research was a difficult one. However, the strength and breadth of the TNS offer and the quality of the management team provide us with a unique opportunity to develop Kantar Group's integrated media measurement and insight capability, in which we and our clients believe so strongly.

At the same time, it strengthens an already powerful relationship with IBOPE, for whom we have considerable respect and, at the same time, allows us to strengthen our healthcare offer through PERQ/HCI and develop a new stream of business through SRDS. Finally, we would like to say thank you to all the AGB people for their efforts over the years that we have been involved together and to wish them well."

The Kantar Group is one of the world's largest research, insight and consultancy networks. By uniting the diverse talents of more than 20 specialist companies - including the recently-acquired TNS - the group aims to become the pre-eminent provider of compelling and actionable insights for the global business community.

Its 26,500 employees work across 80 countries and across the whole spectrum of research and consultancy disciplines, enabling the group to offer clients business insights at each and every point of the consumer cycle. The group's services are employed by over half of the Fortune Top 500 companies. The Kantar Group is a wholly-owned subsidiary of WPP.

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Nielsen and WPP to swap assets