Nielsen Sells Consumer Analytics Business for $2.7Bn

Avatar for Martijn Hoogeveen
Media and analytics

Nielsen sells its consumer sales and analytics business to equity investor Advent for $2.7 billion, according to Bloomberg. The parties expect to close this deal in the first half of next year. The acquired business will be rebranded from Global Connect into NielsenIQ. What explains this move? Nielsen needs the cash to reduce its debt burden, which stands at $8 billion as of June 30 this year. Moreover, this business is under pressure in the current economic down-cycle. Brand owners are reducing their overhead. According to Bloomberg, Nielsen’s shares have slid 33% this year, giving the company a market value of $4.8 billion as of Friday’s (October 30’s) close. Less than its debt burden!

Also, the de-listing of GfK and restructuring by KKR, who took a controlling stake during 2017, seems to underpin the same trend that the consumer sales and analytics business is already under some pressure for a while. The current crisis is only accelerating the trend.

Not just the consumer analytics business is under pressure. Also, the related consumer media business is. This is exemplified, by the recent offloading of Cnet Media Group by ViacomCBS in a $0.5 billion deal with Red Ventures. ViacomCBS wrote off a whopping $1.3 billion on its 2018 acquisition. Cnet Media Group includes review site, GameSpot,, Metacritic reviews-aggregation,, Chowhound, Roadshow, Cnet Content, and B2B tech site ZDNet. It’s unclear if Red Ventures intends to resell the acquired activities or sees a long-term future for itself in it.

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