Elliott Management Supports Split of Nielsen Holdings

The activist hedge fund has publicly supported the market research giant.

Nielsen Holdings has announced plans to split itself into two separate public companies. The plan – backed by Elliott Management – will unlock shareholder value.

“Separating into two companies represents the best path forward for Nielsen’s business and its shareholders, and we believe it will lead to substantial value creation,” said Elliott Partner Jesse Cohn in a statement.

“By separating into two independent companies, Nielsen is better able to position both its media and retail measurement franchises for long-term success with differential investment, profitability, capital return, and strategic frameworks.”

Splitting Nielsen Holdings – Elliott Management Pressure

Meanwhile, Nielsen Holdings started exploring alternative options after it received pressure from Elliott Management. The $38 billion hedge fund had previously urged a sale of the company. Nielsen Holdings is best known for its advanced television ratings that help determine commercial advertising rates.

The firm’s Global Media business will become one public business. This business will service media and advertising customers. This group has a mid-single-digit growth outlook, a mid-40% EBITDA margin. A statement states that it has a clear path to leadership in cross-platform measurement.

Further, the firm’s Global Connect business will offer research to consumer goods firms. The release also describes the division as a leader in retail sales measurement with an incomparable global footprint. More so, the firm projects low-single-digit growth outlook and path to significant margin expansion.

“The separation will also unlock the substantial valuation upside of both businesses, which today trade at a meaningfully depressed level after a year of uncertainty,” the statement continued. “In particular, this will highlight the Media business as a faster-growing, more profitable, and market-leading franchise, allowing it to garner an appropriate valuation multiple reflective of its significant value.”

Related: Hedge Elliott Management May Join Apollo Global Management to Save EP Energy Corp.

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November 20, 2019

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