Arbitron Renamed Nielsen Audio

Nielsen completes its $1.3 billion acquisition of the marketing and media research firm best known for its U.S. radio ratings.

Nielsen, the global provider of metrics and statistics on consumers' cultural consumption best known for its television ratings, has completed its acquisition of Arbitron Inc., the marketing and media research firm best known for its U.S. radio ratings. The deal sees Nielsen acquiring all common stock of Arbitron, priced at $48 per share, in a deal totaling $1.3 billion. Nielsen predicts an increase of $0.26 in per-share value over the first year, growing to $0.32 the following year. As outlined in a statement, the company will update shareholders further during its third-quarter earnings call, to be held Oct. 23.

Arbitron will be renamed Nielsen Audio and folded into Nielsen's U.S. Watch business segment, charged with generating insight into and information on television, online, mobile and radio consumption for media and advertising companies.

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Said Nielsen CEO David Calhoun in a statement: "Our combined capabilities offer opportunities to measure unmeasured areas that are important to the industries and clients we serve, like streaming audio, out-of-home measurements for television consumption and deeper measurement of multicultural audiences in the U.S. Globally, this is an opportunity to expand our measurement of consumer behavior and introduce audio measurement capabilities in new markets."

The deal, announced last December, approved by Arbitron shareholders in April and completed on Monday, was met with praise from Clear Channel CEO John Hogan, who said at the time of the deal's announcement: "We think it's a step in the right direction that Nielsen recognizes that radio, TV and digital are the top three critical media to marketers, and that this combination has the potential to offer broader insights and better measurement across multiple platforms." However one former radio executive expressed concern at the winnowing of competition the deal will bring about: "It's healthier for the radio industry and media when there's more competition for ratings."

Nielsen was formerly Billboard's and THR's parent company.

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