Nielsen CEO Says Arbitron Merger Is '60 Days To 4 Months Away'
April 26, 2013 at 3:56 AM (PT)
NIELSEN CEO DAVID CALHOUN said YESTERDAY (4/25) that the company is nearing completion of the FTC's request for more information regarding its proposed merger with ARBITRON. MEDIAPOST reports, "The NIELSEN chief declined to speculate how long it will take the regulators to review the documentation, but offered up 'somewhere between 60 days and four months' before the FTC responds."
"We’re just going to do our best (to) respond," CALHOUN said. "There’s nothing about the documentation that we’ve organized and prepared that scares us."
In DECEMBER of last year (NET NEWS 12/18/2012), NIELSEN agreed to acquire all of the outstanding common stock of ARBITRON for $48 per share in cash, representing a premium of approximately 26% to ARBITRON's closing price on DECEMBER 17th, 2012. NIELSEN discolosed it had a financing commitment for the total transaction amount. At that time, the transaction was approved by the boards of both companies, but was subject to customary closing conditions, including regulatory review.
Last week (NET NEWS 4/16), ARBITRON stockholders voted to approve the acquisition of the Company by NIELSEN HOLDINGS. Approximately 98.99% of the shares voting at a Special Meeting of Stockholders voted in favor of the agreement and plan of merger. These shares represented approximately 77.11% of total outstanding shares of ARBITRON common stock as of the MARCH 8th, 2013 record date for the Special Meeting.
The most recent words from CALHOUN came on an earnings call YESTERDAY. MEDIAPOST writes the CEO "noted growth opportunity with NIELSEN’s single-source products that look to link media exposure with purchases. He said NIELSEN CATALINA SOLUTIONS has done well in the last three months and cited success with a product that matches TV ratings with credit card and other purchasing data. The CEO also said clients continue to sign up for NIELSEN’s Online Campaign Ratings and Cross-Platform Campaign Ratings. He mentioned OMNICOM MEDIA GROUP, saying agencies can speed wide adoption of the products."
"We are not yet a standard in the industry," CALHOUN said. "We are becoming one in the video advertising space, which is the rich part of the space, and a space that in our view was the most important one to capture."