Nielsen files for $1.75bn IPO to mainly pay down debt

The New York City-based market research firm Nielsen Holdings has filed for an initial public offering to raise up to $1.75-billion, according to a SEC filing published today.

The market research company that provides ratings, including television ratings in the U.S. that media firms and advertisers use to establish ad prices based on the Nielsen program ratings, will mainly use the proceeds from the public offering to pay down more than $8,573-million in outstanding debt as at March 31, 2010.

Various financial intermediaries will underwrite the IPO, including New York City-based Goldman Sachs, Citigroup, JPMorgan Chase, among other investment banks.

 The type of underwriting, like a best efforts underwriting, was not disclosed.

A time frame for the IPO, the number of total shares, and possible stock price, has yet to be disclosed.

In the last quarterly report published for the first quarter of 2010 (ended March 31), Nielsen posted a net profit of $42-million in the first quarter of this year, compared to only $2-million net income in the same period last year. Revenue in Q1 ’10 was $1,196-million, up insignificantly from $1,102-million in Q1 ’09.

Many firms are finding issuing equity more costly and difficult, as the equity markets remains volatile and as investors are cautious post the financial crisis that resulted in massive losses across all indexes including the Dow.

A request to the company for additional information has yet to be replied.

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Peggy holds a Bachelor Arts degree with honors in Economics from York University in Toronto, Canada. She is a Certified Management Accountant (CMA). She has also passed Level I of the Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) Program. She is also a realtor. Write to [email protected]
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