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UPDATE 1-Nielsen to split into two companies, gets backing from investor Elliott

Elliott@ (Adds details on separation, Elliott support, background; updates share movement)

Nov 7 (Reuters) - Nielsen Holdings Plc said on Thursday it would split into two publicly traded companies as the market research firm pushes to increase shareholder value, a year after activist investor Elliott Management urged for a sale of the company.

The split, which is backed by the hedge fund, sent the company's shares up 5% in premarket trading.

Its Global Media business will cater to media and advertising clients, while Global Connect business will provide research data to consumer goods companies, Nielsen said in a statement.

Nielsen, best known for its television ratings that are used to determine advertising rates for TV commercials, started exploring options from September last year, a month after Elliott disclosed a 5.1% stake in the company.

The transaction would be in the form of a tax-free share distribution to existing shareholders, the company said.

"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," Elliott Partner Jesse Cohn said in a statement.

As part of the deal, Nielsen will reduce its quarterly cash dividend payment to 6 cents per share from 35 cents.

Chief Executive Officer David Kenny will lead the media business after the split and the Global Connect business will get a new CEO.

The company was taken private in 2006 by a group of firms including Carlyle Group and Blackstone Group and went public again in 2011.

J.P. Morgan Securities LLC and Guggenheim Securities LLC were the financial advisers to Nielsen. Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz, Baker McKenzie and Clifford Chance LLP were the legal advisers. (Reporting by Munsif Vengattil and Supantha Mukherjee in Bengaluru; Editing by Arun Koyyur)