November 11th 2008 - New York and London
The Nielsen Company and WPP have today jointly announced that they have signed a definitive agreement to swap certain assets.
Nielsen will now own 100% of AGBNielsen Media Research, a leading international television audience media measurement business, by acquiring the 50% 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 to WPP: firstly, SRDS, the leading provider of media rates and data to the advertising industry; secondly, 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 thirdly, its 11% share in IBOPE PDM, IBOPE LA and IMI.Com, which are part of the IBOPE Group, a Latin American multinational firm, based in Brazil, and the market leader specializing in media, market and opinion research. WPP already holds a 31% stake in IBOPE. These assets will be added to The 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 of either its AGBNMR stake or TNS’s European television audience measurement business.
“In an increasingly digital world, it is essential for Nielsen to strengthen its global market position,” said Nielsen Chairman and CEO David Calhoun. “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 the Kantar Group.”
Eric Salama, CEO of Kantar, said:
"The decision to dispose of our 50% 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. Finally, we would like to say thank you to all the AGB people for their efforts over the years that we have been involved together and to wish them well."