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‘Billboard’ Parent Agrees to Sale

'Billboard' Parent Agrees to Sale

Netherlands-based VNU, which owns “Billboard,” and other publications as well as Nielsen Media Research, has agreed to a buyout offer from a private equity group in an all-cash deal valued at $10.3 billion.
The buyer is Valcon Acquisition B.V., a newly incorporated holding company controlled by a private-equity group consisting of affiliated funds of AlpInvest Partners N.V., The Blackstone Group L.P., The Carlyle Group, Hellman & Friedman LLC, Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co. L.P. and Thomas H. Lee Partners, L.P.
The offer is for all of VNU’s issued common shares and 7% preferred shares. VNU’s board accepted the offer and recommends the shareholders do also at a scheduled April meeting.
Aad Jacobs, chairman of VNU’s board, said the all-cash offer provides shareholders with an attractive price that reflects the independently assessed fair value of the company.
VNU CEO Rob van den Bergh said the sale would enable VNU to grow and have the operational flexibility of private ownership.
The buyers said in a statement they intend to keep VNU “substantially together” and continue to pursue improving operational efficiency and investing in product development.
The VNU board said in a statement that selling off the company in pieces was discussed also, but members felt that could take a long time as well as disrupt management and employees and potentially damage client relationships.
VNU also owns “The Hollywood Reporter” and “AdWeek.”