BtoB

VNU runs ads to sway dissident shareholders

Published on .

Most Popular

New York—Engaging the opposition, Anglo-Dutch media giant VNU ran ads in several publications Thursday to persuade shareholders to support a $9 billion buyout from a consortium of private equity firms.

VNU, owner of ACNielsen and a number of trade titles, including The Hollywood Reporter and Nation's Jeweler, placed page ads in The Wall Street Journal, Financial Times and Dutch newspapers calling on shareholders to support the deal.

The VNU board accepted the deal last month, but influential shareholders, including Knight Vinke Asset Management, have announced their opposition.

The ad reads in part, "There have been claims that VNU would be worth more broken up. The boards are clear that a break-up strategy would be less attractive than a sale in a single transaction. A break-up would incur adverse tax effects, would reduce the scope for cost savings, would take time and would be disruptive for the business. In short, the all-cash offer is the right deal at the right time for VNU, our shareholders, clients and employees."

VNU has until May 5 to line up support for the deal.

—Matthew Schwartz

In this article: