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Monday, August 18, 2008

Nielson Rumours and the RBI Deal

It was rumoured some time ago that Clive Hollick, one time leader of UBM and now big fish at mega private equity house KKR, has pondered whether it would be possible to excise the US division of RBI and crunch it together with Nielson (used to be VNU in the US) in which KKR are an investor.

With Reed not minded to break up their business, it has been rumoured that Nielson is now up for sale. All the talk in the press has been about Hollywood Reporter, the weak number 2 to Reeds Variety. (CEO of which is a Brit who, many years ago, used to be ad manager of Commercial Motor)

The real story of course is whether the eventual buyer of RBI is minded to be an aggregator and hoover up Nielson too. The missing piece of the puzzle for me is what the strategy would look like. Both Nielson and RBI have a lot of print based revenues - and simply having a bigger print based business is no protection from the downturn.

Meanhwile Reed staff have been told that their deal should complete in October. I am still betting on December.

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