Nielsen Holdings BV, the world’s largest audience measurement company, plans to raise $1.75 billion on the New York Stock Exchange this winter. The Financial Times has reported that Nielsen will wait until Q4 before going to market, in order to gauge how the company is performing in the second half of 2010. Morgan Stanley and JP Morgan are leading the initial public offering. Citigroup, Deutsche Bank, Credit Suisse and Goldman Sachs are also underwriting the public share offer. Nielsen wants to use the IPO to pay off some of its $9 billion in debt. The company, which operates the world’s largest TV viewing measurement business, was taken private by six venture capitalists in 2006. Now they want to get their money out. Nielsen’s hoping the company will be valued at $21 billion – 13 times earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation. This sounds very optimistic to me. Industry standard for these kinds of deals is between 6 and 8 times EBITDA. Nielson is expected to earn $1.6 billion in EBITDA this year. It sold off its Nielsen EDI movie box office business to industry rival Rentrak for $15 million in January.