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WPP and Nielsen to swap assets

15-November-2008
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WPP and Nielsen to swap assets

The Nielsen Company and WPP have signed a definitive agreement to swap certain assets. Nielsen will now own 100 per cent of AGBNielsen Media Research (AGBNMR), an international television audience media measurement business, by acquiring the 50 per cent 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 SRDS, a provider of media rates and data to the advertising industry; 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 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, to WPP. WPP already holds a 31 per cent stake in IBOPE. These assets will be added to Kantar Group, WPP’s information, insight and consultancy division.

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

Commenting on the development, David Calhoun, Chairman and CEO, Nielsen, said, “In an increasingly digital world, it is essential for Nielsen to strengthen its global market position. 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 Kantar Group.”

Eric Salama, CEO, Kantar Group, said, “The decision to dispose off 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.”

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