Nielsen splits into two public companies

Close-up of two people shaking hands with other people in the background
The company split announcement comes on the same day that Nielsen is reporting its third quarter results. (rawpixel)

After a strategic review, Nielsen has decided to spin out its global media and global connect businesses into two separate, publicly traded companies.

James Attwood, chairman of Nielsen's board of directors, said separating the businesses will position each for long-term success.

"As independent companies, both Nielsen—the Global Media business—and the new company consisting of Global Connect, will enjoy added flexibility and further strengthen their paths toward a new phase of growth, productivity and industry leadership,” said Attwood in a statement.

Nielsen Global Media houses the company’s metrics and analytics services for media companies and advertisers. It’s a key piece of the company's cross-platform measurement strategy. Nielsen Global Connect provides consumer packaged goods manufacturers and retailers with data, tools and predictive models for informing business decisions and strategies.

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Current Nielsen CEO David Kenny will serve as the CEO of Nielsen's Global Media business. The company has begun a search for a CEO for the Global Connect business.

Nielsen currently expects the spin-off transaction to be completed in nine to 12 months, subject to certain conditions including final board approval and some regulatory approvals.

The company split announcement comes on the same day that Nielsen is reporting its third-quarter results. The company’s revenues stayed largely flat, increasing just 1% to $1.6 billion. Global media revenues increased 3.9% but global connect revenues fell 2.2%. The company posted a net loss for the third quarter of $472 million, compared to net income of $96 million during the year-ago quarter.

“We are pleased with our third quarter results,” said Kenny in a statement. “Both Media and Connect revenues were ahead of our expectations, reflecting strong execution as well as our focus on driving faster, bolder decisions to enhance value for Nielsen and for our clients. We also announced today the conclusion of our strategic review and our decision to separate Global Media and Global Connect. As we look forward, we remain focused on executing on our growth strategies and positioning both businesses to create value for our shareholders.”

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