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Nielsen contacted more than 30 parties during go-shop, no bids made

By Reuters

BOSTON – Nielsen Holdings, which agreed to sell itself to a consortium of private equity firms, on Friday said it had been in contact with more than 30 parties during the go-shop period but that no bids to buy the company were submitted.

The consortium, which includes Elliott Management’s private equity unit and Brookfield Asset Management, in March offered to pay $28 a share for the TV rating firm.

Nielsen had until May 12 to solicit a better offer for itself and reported on Friday that only one party had signed a non-disclosure agreement to take a closer look at financials.

“After a thorough effort aimed at exploring whether a higher and better offer for Nielsen could be obtained, the Board has confirmed its view that the transaction with the Consortium represents an attractive outcome for our shareholders,” said James Attwood, Nielsen’s board chairman.

Nielsen gathers viewership data across TV, radio and digital platforms that are used by advertisers and others to determine prime-time hours, but it has been under pressure as more people moved to streaming entertainment.

Elliott, one of the world’s biggest activist investors with $51.1 billion in assets, had pushed Nielsen for a sale in 2018, forcing the market research company to consider splitting into two publicly traded firms a year later.