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Nielsen board rejects acquisition offer from private equity group

Nielsen Holdings Plc rejected an acquisition proposal from a private equity consortium, saying the offer “significantly” undervalued the company.

The proposal had valued the company at $25.40 per share, a price that doesn’t “adequately compensate shareholders for Nielsen’s growth prospects,” the company said in a statement Sunday. Windacre Partnership LLC, one of its largest shareholders, said in a separate statement it supported the rejection of the offer.

Brookfield Asset Management Inc. had been working with Elliott Investment Management on the potential leveraged buyout of Nielsen, Bloomberg News had previously reported. Shares of the company jumped nearly 40% last week after reports of a potential offer.

“We do not believe the offer comes close to recognizing Nielsen’s intrinsic value and we were not going to be forced out of our holding at this price,” Windacre Managing Partner Snehal Amin said in the statement.

Founded in 1923 as a market measuring firm, New York-based Nielsen provides audience data services to many of the media industry’s premier networks. Led by Chief Executive Officer David Kenny, the company had mixed results in adapting to the growth of streaming in the past decade.

Following the rejection of the acquisition bid, Nielsen plans to start buying back its own stock, after having earlier approved a $1 billion share repurchase authorization, the company said in the statement. The repurchases could commence after the company reports first-quarter earnings on April 21. Bloomberg

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