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Nielsen to Acquire Harris Interactive

Harris Interactive’ board okayed the deal after reviewing strategic alternatives

Market research firm Harris Interactive says it has agreed to be acquired by Nielsen Holdings N.V. Harris Interactive is known for The Harris Poll.

The news comes shortly after the closing of Nielsen’s acquisition of Arbitron.

Under the terms of the deal, Nielsen will commence a tender offer to acquire all outstanding shares of Harris Interactive’s common stock through a wholly-owned subsidiary formed for the purpose of making the offer. Those who hold outstanding shares of that Harris Interactive stock would receive $2 a share in cash, subject to adjustment.

The tender offer must begin within 10 business days and will remain open for at least 34 business days. The Harris Interactive board of directors approved the transaction. Harris Interactive President/CEO Al Angrisani says the deal reflects the “successful completion of the turnaround strategy” the company began in July 2011 and will deliver “meaningful value and liquidity” to Harris Interactive shareholders once the deal closes.

Harris’ board chose the Nielsen option after reviewing the company’s strategic alternatives, he said.

The combined capabilities of both companies will provide better and more integrated insights to help clients drive business outcomes, according to Nielsen Americas President John Lewis: “Harris Interactive’s strength with other industry verticals allows us to serve these clients with Nielsen’s differentiated solutions in areas such as marketing effectiveness, social and digital to achieve our growth objectives.”