Nielsen Holdings Drops 10% After New York Post Report

Shares of measurement and data analytics company Nielsen Holdings PLC NLSN lost 10 percent Thursday morning in reaction to a New York Post report.

What Happened

Nielsen's management said in late 2018 it was considering strategic alternatives, including a sale. One of the interested parties that was exploring a potential bid was Blackstone Group LP BX.

The private equity firm has now decided against presenting a final bid to the company, sources close to the matter told The Post.

Ironically, Blackstone's managing director David Calhoun served as CEO of Nielsen from 2006-2013. The Post's sources are saying he didn't like Nielsen's financials and felt the company is struggling to justify price increases for its research reports.

A second private equity group exploring an acquisition of Nielsen, Apollo Global Management LLC APO, is reportedly losing interest, the publication said.

Why It's Important

Blackstone and Apollo are both major private equity players that were considered to be Nielsen's strongest suitors. The lack of interest is now raising questions about whether the company can be sold at a time when "trends in the sector are going the wrong way," a source told The Post.

What's Next

A spokeswoman from Nielsen told The Post the company will continue to evaluate its strategic options, which still include a potential sale. 

Nielsen shares were down 10.25 percent at $23.90 at the time of publication Thursday.

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Posted In: Apollo Global ManagementblackstoneData AnalyticsNew York Postprivate equityNewsM&AMedia