Nielsen Agrees To Buy Arbitron For $1.26B

Arbitron shares are up 25% in pre-market trading after Nielsen Holdings said it would buy the rival ratings company best known for its measurement of radio audiences. Nielsen said it will pay $48 a share, a 26% premium over yesterday’s closing price, for a total of $1.26B. “Arbitron will help Nielsen better solve for unmeasured areas of media consumption, including streaming audio and out-of-home,” Nielsen CEO David Calhoun says. “The high level of engagement with radio and TV among rapidly growing multicultural audiences makes this central to Nielsen’s priorities.” His company also says it will expand Arbitron’s “Watch” segment’s audience measurement across screens and forms of listening. “These integrated, innovative capabilities will enable broader measurement of consumer media behavior in more markets around the world,” Nielsen President of Global Media Products and Advertiser Solutions Steve Hasker says.

The timing of the announcement is surprising: Last week, Arbitron said that Sean Creamer would become CEO on January 1 when the current chief, William Kerr, retires. Arbitron shares have appreciated 7.4% over the last 12 months.

Here’s today’s release: (more…)

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