The WindAcre Partnership LLC, now comfortably the largest Nielsen shareholder with 27.3%, says the share price could triple in the next three years and will host a webcast tomorrow arguing for a rejection of the Consortium bid. Meanwhile reports suggest the ratings firm could regain its MRC accreditation soon.
Following an earlier intervention by WindAcre, Nielsen rejected an initial bid from a private equity consortium a month ago. The consortium, led by Evergreen Coast Capital Corporation, an affiliate of Elliott Investment Management L.P., and Brookfield Business Partners L.P., returned a week later offering an improved bid of $28 per share, all-cash, valuing the business at c. $16bn. Earlier this month, WindAcre said it would again block the deal - which it says undervalues Nielsen considerably - requesting a $1.1bn 'sweetener' for its support. Meanwhile DRNO reported that the investor had almost doubled its stake in the company, to around 18% - it has now added as much again and holds 98.19m shares or 27.3%, currently valued at around $2.5bn. This represents a considerable exposure for WindAcre, which according to Forbes has 'only around $7 billion in assets under management'.
Today WindAcre announced it would host an investor webcast tomorrow (Tuesday 26th April) at 8.30am ET, 'to outline the business and valuation case for Nielsen Holdings plc and why it opposes the proposed acquisition for $28 per share'. In the meeting, Snehal Amin, Managing Member of WindAcre, 'will present why he believes Nielsen is a world class business with an intrinsic value well north of $40 per share, and how there is a credible path for the Company's stock price to triple within three years'.
Meanwhile according to a report on www.mediapost.com, Wall Street analyst Daniel Salmon of BMO Capital Markets says he believes the MRC will reaccredit Nielsen's national TV ratings service 'soon', and 'will fast-track its new digital ratings methodology, with a vote on reaccrediting it within the next few weeks' - possibly within the 45-day 'go shop' period following the latest acquisition agreement on 29th March. However the basis for Salmon's claim is not certain at the moment - he himself notes that Nielsen 'has informed him that it doesn't expect an MRC vote on its national TV service until mid-2022'. The MRC itself has not indicated that a vote on reaccreditation will happen any time soon, although it confirms that 'audit work has begun'.
Alternative services continue to pop up and to strengthen their offering: this week streaming company Roku said it had added new partners Ipsos MMA, Analytic Partners and Mediahub to its Measurement Partner Program - as well as Nielsen itself. Roku says TV streaming is under-represented in older models. Just over a year ago, Nielsen announced it was selling its Advanced Video Advertising (AVA) business to Roku, including its video automatic content recognition (ACR) and dynamic ad insertion (DAI) technologies.
Web site: www.nielsen.com .
All articles 2006-22 written and edited by Mel Crowther and/or Nick Thomas unless otherwise stated.