Consortium Waits for Reaction to New VNU Bid

05 May 2006

A private equity consortium has sweetened its offer to shareholders in market research and media group VNU.

The six-strong consortium, which includes Kohlberg Kravis Roberts and the Blackstone Group, has raised its offer from €7.5 billion ($9.5bn; £5.1bn) to €8.7bn and lowered the threshold needed to win approval from 95% to 80%.

It has extended the deadline to May 19, after it became obvious that the lower bid would not be accepted by today's (Friday) original deadline.

The board of Netherlands-headquartered VNU - owner of Nielsen Media Research and a raft of business magazines - had accepted the previous bid but faced fierce opposition from investors led by Knight Vinke Asset Management [WAMN: 06-Apr-06].

The new offer has the support of fund manager Templeton Global Advisors, which has a 14.7% stake in VNU. It said accepting the revised offer was in its "best interest".

Data sourced from BBC Online; additional content by WARC staff