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WPP Satisfies Regulators with Nielsen Asset Swap

November 11 2008

Nielsen and WPP have signed an asset swapping agreement. Nielsen will acquire WPP's half of AGBNielsen Media Research (AGBNMR), and in return, WPP will take over three of Nielsen's media services assets.

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

Nielsen will now own 100% of the AGBNMR TV audience media measurement business, which will form the global foundation of its media product portfolio.

The firm will then transfer to WPP its ad industry data and media rates firm SRDS; its healthcare media insights arm PERQ/HCI; and its 11% share in three media, market and opinion research firms within the IBOPE Group: IBOPE PDM, IBOPE LA and IMI.Com. WPP already holds a 31% stake in IBOPE and these additional properties will be added to its insight and consultancy division, The Kantar Group.

Nielsen Chairman and CEO David Calhoun stated that AGBNMR would become an important part of the firm's portfolio and be better positioned to offer high quality measurement for clients.

Eric Salama, CEO of Kantar, said that the decision to dispose of his firm's stake in AGBNMR had been 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,' he added. 'At the same time, it strengthens an already powerful relationship with IBOPE, allows us to strengthen our healthcare offer through PERQ/HCI, and develop a new stream of business through SRDS.'

Web sites: www.nielsen.com , www.wpp.com and www.kantargrouptns.com .

All articles 2006-21 written and edited by Mel Crowther and/or Nick Thomas unless otherwise stated.

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