The Nielsen Company is to buy the remainder of online audience specialist NetRatings, for a total purchase price of $327m cash, or $21.00 a share. It already owns 60 per cent.
The transaction price represents a 44.1% premium over NetRatings' closing price on October 6, 2006, when Nielsen made a previous offer of $16 per share in cash, and a 16% premium over its closing price on Friday. The move won the unanimous approval of a special committee set up by the NetRatings board of directors and chaired by Arthur F. Kingsbury. 'We believe that the merger is in the best interests of NetRatings' minority shareholders' said Kingsbury.
Nielsen Chairman and CEO David Calhoun comments, 'This transaction will provide fair value to NetRatings shareholders while also allowing Nielsen and NetRatings to better coordinate their strengths for the benefit of our mutual clients.'
The merger is expected to be completed in the second quarter of calendar year 2007, subject to the usual approvals. Nielsen's 60% vote will guarantee it majority support at the required NetRatings shareholders meeting.
NetRatings is marketed globally under the Nielsen//NetRatings brand and provides both panel-based and site-centric Internet audience measurement services as well as custom research and other services. Web sites for the companies are at www.nielsen.com and www.nielsen-netratings.com .
All articles 2006-21 written and edited by Mel Crowther and/or Nick Thomas unless otherwise stated.