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Nielsen Files for an IPO

Debt-ridden ratings giant looks to raise $1.75 billion

Having sold the Hollywood Reporter and Billboard in December, Nielsen announced plans this week for an initial public offering to help pay down its heavy debt.

The media ratings company, which was taken private in 2006 in a $10 billion private equity buyout, said in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission that it plans to sell up to $1.75 billion in shares.

The company has lost money every year it has been private, according to the Wall Street Journal. As of March 31, its debt was $8.6 billion.

The Dutch-owned company — with annual revenue of about $4.8 billion — did not disclose a price-per-share nor how many shares it plans to sell.

According to the Financial Times, the company is targeting a fourth quarter return to the stock exchange.

Nielsen is jointly owned by six private equity firms — Thomas H. Lee Partners, Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co., Blackstone Group LP, Alpinvest Partners, Carlyle Group LP and Hellman & Friedman LLC.

Now, it appears, they want a return.

More to read:

Nielsen Sells Hollywood Reporter, Billboard; Axes E&P, Kirkus