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What customer buy, when and where are vital bits of information for many key business decisions. Today, the global consumer trend and media habits analytics firm Nielsen announces a new platform that gives access to this valuable data.


Nielsen Holdings (NYSE:NLSN) is an information and measurement company which sells to its clients media and marketing information about the clients' consumers and their behaviors. Nielsen operates in approximately 100 countries and sells its services throughout these regions. By providing information on what consumers buy and watch, Nielsen helps its clients to more effectively operate. Because the company works heavily through contracts, roughly 70% of the firm's annual revenue is committed before the start of each year.[1]

The company is divided into three main segments. The Buy segment, which constitutes 62% of revenue for 2009, sells retail transactional measurement data. These analytics help companies to manage their brand, understand demand, and establish new products. The Watch segment provides data and analytics to media and advertising companies on television, online, and mobile usage. These analytics inform the advertisers on how to allocate and optimize their spend. This segment represented 34% of the company's total revenue in 2009. Finally, the Expositions segment runs business-to-business trade shows across the United States. This segment has historically run approximately 40 trade shows a year, and its revenue made up 4% of the total revenue for 2009.[2]

The company's initial public offering of stock on the NYSE occurred on January 25, 2011. The company offered 71.4M shares each for $23. This was above the initial price range of $20-$22. This brought the total deal value to $1.6B, making it the largest US IPO deal backed by private equity firms in the last 10 years.. The lead underwriters of the IPO were J P Morgan Chase (JPM) and Morgan Stanley (MS).[3]

In 2009, Nielsen's total annual revenue was $4.8B, which corresponds to essentially no change over 2008. The company's revenue for the first 9 months of 2010 were $3.8B which is above the $3.5B that was reported for the first 9 months of 2009. In terms of net income, Nielsen reported an annual loss for 2009 of $491M. For the first 9 months of 2010, Nielsen reported a net income of $127M. This compares to a net loss of $535M for the same period in 2009[4]


  1. Nielsen Holdings S-1/A 2010 PROSPECTUS SUMMARY "Our Company" pg 1
  2. Nielsen Holdings S-1/A 2010 PROSPECTUS SUMMARY "Our Segments" pg 2-3
  3. Renaissance Capital - IPO Home "Nielsen prices IPO at $23, above the range" 25 Jan 2010
  4. Nielsen Holdings S-1/A 2010 PROSPECTUS SUMMARY "Summary Financial and Other Data" pg 11
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