Nielsen IPO Likely to Price at $20-22; Road Show Starts

Emboldened by a rallying stock market, the media company Nielsen Holdings will launch its pre-IPO road show on Monday, according to people familiar with the matter, with meetings between company management and Wall Street salespeople this morning.

Outside the New York Stock Exchange in lower Manhattan.
Photo: Oliver Quillia for
Outside the New York Stock Exchange in lower Manhattan.

Nielsen, the information and measurement company that tracks television ratings and many other consumer behaviors and preferences, will likely price its initial public offering on Jan. 25, according to one source, after two weeks on the road.

The company’s offering is expected to raise roughly $1.75 billion, with $1.5 billion to be raised through equity sales and the remainder through the sale of mandatory convertible subordinated bonds.

The initial suggested price range for stock shares is between $20 and $22, the people familiar with the matter said. A Nielsen spokeswoman declined to comment.

Five years ago, Nielsen was acquired by a consortium of six private-equity firms, including Blackstone, Carlyle, and Kohlberg Kravis & Roberts

, in a $10.2 billion leveraged buyout.

In early June 2010, Nielsen filed its initial IPO paperwork with the Securities and Exchange Commission, only to spend the next seven months waiting for the right market conditions to go public.

Nielsen’s sponsors are not expected to sell their positions through the upcoming IPO, said one of the people familiar with the matter. Proceeds of the deal will be used to pay down debt, according to the company’s regulatory filings.

The company’s first road show meeting kicks off at 9:00 a.m. Monday morning at the New York offices of J.P. Morgan, one of the firm’s lead underwriters, according to the people familiar with the matter. Nielsen management will also meet with salespeople at Morgan Stanley on Monday, one of the sources added.