Nielsen takes out its checkbook


IAG Research is becoming part of The Nielsen Company in a 225 million bucks deal. IAG measures consumer engagement with television programs, national commercials and product placements.
Nielsen is paying cash to acquire IAG from its current, private owners. To that end, Nielsen is doing a private placement of 220 million bucks in 10% Senior Notes due 2014. The IAG acquisition should move quickly, with closing expected in Q2.

“IAG will add a new dimension to Nielsen’s media business and will be the cornerstone for a new analytics practice that will provide our clients with even greater insights and clarity. We are excited by the energy the IAG team will bring to the multiple opportunities they will have at Nielsen. Overlaying their perspective with the vast array of industries and technologies we touch gives us an opportunity to bring greater clarity and creativity to our work on behalf of clients,” said Nielsen CEO David Calhoun.

IAG co-founders Alan Gould and Ken Orkin said joining Nielsen will make the company’s services available to a larger base of clients. The IAG management team will stay on to join Nielsen.

RBR/TVBR observation: Just counting eyeballs is no longer enough. Advertisers want to know not only who is watching, but why, and whether they are actually paying attention. Nielsen has certainly been working on those issues itself, but by this deal is clearly willing to shell out cash to add expertise from outside.