Nielsen Expected to Launch IPO

NEW YORK: The investors who own Nielsen are planning to do an initial public offering for the media metric firm, wire services report. Nielsen was taken private four years ago by a coalition of private equity firms led by the Blackstone Group, the Carlyle Group, AlpInvest Partners and Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co. in a $10.2 billion deal.

Nielsen’s backers are now reported to be valuing the IPO at $21 billion, or roughly 11 to 13 times expected earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization of $1.6 billion, the Financial Times said.

Nielsen reported revenues for 2009 of $4.8 billion, flat compared to 2008. EBITDA was $1.3 billion. The Nielsen Co. had total debt of $8.66 billion and a cash balance of $511 million as of Dec. 31, 2009.

The company is expected to start vetting banks for the IPO next month.