Nielsen goes public

Jennifer Collins Jan 27, 2011
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Nielsen goes public

Jennifer Collins Jan 27, 2011
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TEXT OF STORY

STACEY VANEK SMITH: The first big private equity IPO of the year happens today. Nielsen — the ratings company — is set to go public with more than 70 million shares.

As Jennifer Collins reports, its market performance could set the tone for other privately held companies looking to go public.


JENNIFER COLLINS: Many people remember Nielsen as the company behind the diaries where people wrote down everything they watched on TV. Today, Nielsen’s into way more than television.

PETER HARVEY: It’s just growing exponentially.

Peter Harvey runs Intellidyn, a boutique ad tracking agency.

HARVEY: Now they’re into all these analytics services within the Internet.

Nielsen brings in around $5 billion a year. And Harvey says advertisers are clamoring for ever more detailed information about who their content reaches. David Menlow, president of IPO Financial, says Nielsen will face serious competition over the next few years.

DAVID MENLOW: Nielsen is basically a best of breed within its field at this point. I certainly wouldn’t want to make that a statement that has a long shelf life with technology advancing as it does on a minute-by-minute basis.

Menlow also says other companies — including Toys’R’Us and the hospital chain HCA — will be watching Nielsen’s IPO to gauge the market for their own public offerings.

I’m Jennifer Collins for Marketplace.

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