WPP and Nielsen Barter Research Assets to Facilitate TNS Deal

13 November 2008

NEW YORK: WPP Group, ordered by competition regulators to dispose of certain elements of Taylor Nelson Sofres as a condition of green-lighting its takeover of the latter, has struck a deal with The Nielsen Company in which Nielsen will acquire from TNS the 50% of AGBNielsen Media Research it did not already own.

As a quid pro quo, WPP's research arm Kantar Group picks up rate and data company SRDS, as well as PERQ/HCI, a provider of media research services in the healthcare sector. Sorrell's fiefdom also acquires Nielsen's 11% stake in three units that are part of the Brazil-based IBOPE Group, a firm specializing in market and opinion research – and in which WPP already holds a 31% stake.

The Big Kahunas of both conglomerates appeared pleased with their barter. 

Said Nielsen chairman/ceo David Calhoun: "As a fully integrated part of our company, AGBNMR will be an important part of our portfolio and better positioned to offer high quality measurement for its clients." 

Empathetically chorused Kantar ceo Eric Salama: "The decision to dispose of our 50% stake in AGBNielsen Media Research was a difficult one."

Pausing for breath before delivering his commercial Salama continued.

"However, the strength and breadth of the TNS offer and the quality of the management team provide us with a unique opportunity to develop Kantar Group's integrated media measurement and insight capability, in which we and our clients believe so strongly."

Data sourced from AdWeek (USA); additional content by WARC staff