Consortium reportedly readies formal bid for VNU

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Amsterdam—A consortium of private equity firms is about to make a firm bid for Dutch media giant VNU, The Wall Street Journal reported Friday. In January, the consortium offered $8.9 billion for the media and information conglomerate, which runs the Nielsen television ratings service as well as a large b-to-b magazine portfolio that includes Billboard and The Hollywood Reporter. VNU went into play in January after its failed bid to acquire health care research company IMS for $7 billion. The firms involved in the bid are AlpInvest Partners, of the Netherlands; Permira Advisers Ltd., of the U.K.; and Blackstone Group, Carlyle Group, Hellman & Friedman, Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co. and Thomas H. Lee Partners, all of the U.S.

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