Onex to buy Nielsen Holdings' expositions business for $950 million

Mon May 6, 2013 9:37am EDT
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(Reuters) - Canadian private equity firm Onex Corp said it would buy market research company Nielsen Holdings NV's expositions business for $950 million in cash.

Nielsen Expositions produces more than 65 business-to-business trade shows and conferences in the United States every year.

"Divesting the expositions business allows us to focus on these core areas that provide our clients with a comprehensive understanding of consumers," Nielsen Chief Financial Officer Brian West said in a statement on Monday.

Nielsen Expositions had revenue of about $183 million for the year ended December 31, roughly 3 percent of Nielsen Holdings' total revenue.

Nielsen, best known for its TV ratings business, also provides a host of other data services including the measurement of traffic to websites, competing in that area with ComScore Inc. It also provides information about the shopping habits of consumers.

Onex Partners III, Onex's $4.7 billion private equity fund, will make an equity investment of about $350 million in the business, of which Onex Corp's share is about $85 million. Onex has about $15 billion of assets under management.

The deal, which includes a termination fee of $61.75 million, is expected to close in the second quarter.

Reuters reported in March that Nielsen Holdings was in the early stages of selling its expositions business and had hired Credit Suisse to help with the sale.

Nielsen was bought by a group of private equity firms including Blackstone Group, Carlyle Group and KKR & Co in 2006. The company went public in 2011.   Continued...