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Shareholders reportedly urge breakup of VNU

Published on .

New York—Shareholders of Dutch media giant VNU are urging the company to split itself into three divisions and sell the pieces rather than agree to a buyout offer of nearly $9 billion made last month by a consortium of private equity firms. The shareholders’ proposal was first reported in Tuesday’s Wall Street Journal. The newspaper said shareholders want to break the company into three parts: ACNielsen, Nielsen Media Research and a publishing company made up of VNU’s b-to-b division, whose assets include Billboard, Hollywood Reporter and National Jeweler. VNU was put in play in January after it dropped its effort to acquire health care research company IMS Health for $7 billion in the face of shareholder opposition.

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