Shareholders Emphasize Rejection of VNU Offer

06 April 2006

Shareholders in VNU have warned they will reject an $8.5 billion (€7.15bn; £4.9bn) bid for the media and research giant.

Knight Vinke Asset Management, which owns around two percent of the AC Nielsen parent, says in a statement it will also encourage other investors to say no to the offer from a consortium of six private equity firms [WAMN 08-Mar-06].

Although the bid by Kolhberg Kravis Roberts, Blackstone Group and others has been agreed by VNU's board, it needs acceptance by 95% of shareholders for the takeover to go through - a figure it is unlikely to achieve.

New York-headquartered KVAM believes the offer undervalues Netherlands-based VNU by as much as 40% and it "cannot understand . . . why so little has been done to pursue standalone options" to increase shareholder value.

It says it will seek a seat on the VNU Supervisory Board for its chairman Eric Knight in the event of a vacancy at or before the annual meeting later this month.

VNU became vulnerable to takeover after a $7bn attempt to buy US market researcher IMS Health was also scuppered by rebellious investors [WAMN: 17-Nov-05].

Data sourced from; additional content by WARC staff