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TV ratings provider Nielsen to explore sale of entire company

[NEW YORK] Nielsen Holdings Plc will explore strategic alternatives including a sale, the TV ratings company told Reuters in a statement on Tuesday, after coming under pressure to do so from hedge fund Elliott Management Corp.

Nielsen, best known for providing audience figures that are used to determine advertising rates for TV commercials, has been struggling to adapt to the media industry's shift to digital advertising and video consumption on mobile devices.

Nielsen said in the statement it was working with investment banks JPMorgan Chase & Co and Guggenheim Securities LLC, as well as law firm Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz, on an "expanded" review of strategic alternatives.

The company had said previously it was only exploring a sale of its "buy" segment, which provides marketing data on what customers purchase, and not its "watch" segment, which offers viewership and listenership data and analytics across television, radio, online and mobile devices.

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The expanded review includes an assessment of a broad range of options, including continuing to operate as a public, independent company, a separation of either Nielsen's buy or watch segment, or a sale of the company, Nielsen said, cautioning that no deal is certain.

REUTERS