Dutch media group VNU and Sir Martin Sorrell's WPP Group are launching a joint television research unit.

The duo plan to roll out the operation in a number of international markets in Europe, Australasia, China and Canada. The company will have estimated revenues of £56 million ($99m; €83.6m).

Understandably the venture excludes the USA, where Nielsen Media Research, owned by VNU, dominates the market.

Under the deal WPP becomes sole owner of media ratings specialist AGB which it will merge with VNU's own subsidiary. The company will operate in 40 markets.

The deal gives both groups a strong international profile both in mature markets like the UK and, more importantly, developing markets like China and South America.

For example, WPP already has a presence in Latin America through IBOPE Media Research which dominates the market ahead of Nielsen.

Data sourced from: Brand Republic; additional content by WARC staff