- Nielsen has announced it will split into two independent, publicly traded companies, according to a company press release. The two entities will operate as Nielsen Global Media business and Nielsen Global Connect. Global Connect previously operated as a franchise within Nielsen.
- The split follows a strategic review in which Nielsen evaluated its businesses, strategies and market opportunities, the company said. The board of directors determined that separating the two businesses would strengthen each and allow them to better serve their specific clients.
- Once the companies officially separate, David Kenny will serve as CEO of the Global Media business. An executive search is underway for the CEO of the Global Connect business. The spin-off transaction will be completed in nine to 12 months.
Nielsen Global Connect will continue to be a retail and consumer packaged goods facing business, providing insights, tools and data around the marketplace aimed at helping brands innovate and grow their businesses, the company said.
In a statement, John Tavolieri, chief product and technology officer of Nielsen Global Connect, said the split better positions it to help its clients grow.
"With a spotlight on our Nielsen Connect platform, our tech-driven transformation is well underway," Tavolieri said. "We are shaping a smarter market for the rapidly evolving world of global commerce."
Meanwhile, the Global Media business, which is what the company is broadly known for across the U.S., will remain focused on media markets, media and advertising clients and TV and digital measurement.
The split follows more than a year of pressure from activist investor Elliott Management, which holds an 8.4% stake in Nielsen and has pushed for the company to sell itself. Nielsen announced it would conduct a strategic review of its market research "Buy" business last July.
Nielsen stock was up 4.5% in pre-market trading Thursday following the announcement and the company's better-than-expected earnings report Wednesday. In its Q3 earnings, the company reaffirmed its revenue, EBITDA and cash flow for 2019 and reported a 1% increase in revenue to $1.62 billion.