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Nielsen to Buy Arbitron for c.$1.26bn

December 18 2012

Nielsen has announced it is to acquire Arbitron for around $1.26 bn, or $48 per share of common stock. The transaction has been approved by both Boards and is subject to customary closing conditions.

Steve Hasker and Bill KerrThe two companies already have close working ties through their joint venture Scarborough Research, which specializes in measuring the lifestyle and shopping patterns, media behaviors and demographics of American consumers. They also previously worked together on Project Apollo - a scheme set up in 2005 to provide a better understanding of the link between consumer exposure to advertising through multi-media and shopping/purchasing behavior.

Through the acquisition, Nielsen says it intends to further expand its 'Watch' segment's audience measurement across screens and forms of listening. Steve Hasker, Nielsen President of Global Media Products and Advertiser Solutions, says the integrated capabilities will provide broader measurement of consumer media behavior in more markets around the world.

For the 12 months ended September 30, 2012, together the companies generated total revenues of $6.0bn and pro forma adjusted EBITDA of $1.7bn. Nielsen said in a statement that the combined assets will support its 'strong cash flow characteristics', and enable continued investment in growth initiatives. Costs associated with the acquisition are expected to be at least $20m, and will be 'largely driven by the integration of technology platforms and data acquisition efforts'.

Bill Kerr, Arbitron's current President and CEO, added: 'By combining Nielsen's global capabilities and scale with Arbitron's unique radio measurement and listening information, advertisers and media clients will have better insights into consumer behavior and the return on marketing investments.'

Separately, Nielsen and Twitter announced earlier that they will be producing a new metric, the 'Nielsen Twitter TV Rating', which they claim will be 'the first-ever measurement of the total audience for social TV activity - both those participating in the conversation and those who were exposed to the activity'.

Web sites: www.nielsen.com and www.arbitron.com .

All articles 2006-23 written and edited by Mel Crowther and/or Nick Thomas, 2024- by Nick Thomas, unless otherwise stated.

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