Nielsen Will Acquire Arbitron

The radio ratings game is about to change big time. Arbitron will become part of Nielsen.

Nielsen Holdings N.V. has signed an agreement to acquire Arbitron Inc., according to a press release this morning.

“Nielsen has agreed to acquire all of the outstanding common stock of Arbitron for $48 per share in cash, representing a premium of approximately 26 percent to Arbitron’s closing price on Dec. 17, 2012,” the companies stated. The New York Times calculates the purchase price at $1.26 billion. The companies said they have combined total revenues of $6 billion.

“Nielsen has a financing commitment for the total transaction amount. The transaction has been approved by the boards of both companies and is subject to customary closing conditions, including regulatory review.”
Measuring new forms of media consumption is a big concern for ratings companies, and is likely to be an ongoing theme for these two big players, now one.

Here’s what Nielsen CEO David Calhoun said in the announcement, explaining its reasoning: “U.S. consumers spend almost two hours a day with radio. It is and will continue to be a vibrant and important advertising medium.” He said the addition of Arbitron will help Nielsen “better solve for unmeasured areas of media consumption, including streaming audio and out-of-home. The high level of engagement with radio and TV among rapidly growing multicultural audiences makes this central to Nielsen’s priorities.”
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