Nielsen Holdings saw strong demand for its initial public offering priced at $23 a share, above the projected range of $20-$22 a share.  Nielsen has net debt of $8.2bn, or roughly six times its earnings of $1.4bn before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (ebitda) for the year ending September 2010. With the proceeds of the IPO, that ratio would fall to less than five, according to the source.  The strong offering is also a sign that the markets might be more receptive to media and technology IPOs after several years of minimal activity.

Nielsen was taken private in 2006 by six private equity firms, including KKR, Thomas H Lee Partners, Blackstone and the Carlyle Group.  The private equity groups sold 71.4 million shares, which is a 20% stake in the company.  The proceeds are being used to reduce the company’s debt.

Source: Financial Times