VNU Investors Rebel Over Agreed Private Equity Bid

31 March 2006

    AMSTERDAM - Almost half of VNU's shareholders reportedly plan to reject a €7.5bn private equity takeover offer, heralding a likely mass exit from the boardroom of the Dutch business information group, parent of Nielsen Media Research.
    The bid, by a consortium including US firms Kohlberg Kravis Roberts and Blackstone Group, was agreed by the VNU board earlier this month [WAMN: 08-Mar-06] but requires acceptance by 95% of the voting shares.
    If rejected by shareholders, VNU cfo Rob Ruijter believes many board members will resign. "In that situation it is unlikely that the full supervisory board would stay in place and the executive board . . . would have to put its position at the disposal of shareholders as well," he warned.