VNU, the Dutch publisher, who owns Nielsen Market Research and Nielsen Ratings tried to acquire IMS for US$ 7 bn.  The deal was strongly opposed by half of VNU’s shareholders.  In the end management had to give in and abandon the IMS deal.  As a consequence the CEO had to take his hat, the investment bankers having smelt blood, demanded the breakup of VNU.  The current attempt by a consortium of private equity firms to acquire VNU for US$ 9 bn is on the brink of being derailed as well by major shareholder opposition.  In the meantime management is distracted, profits are sagging and the saga continues.

BIIA Newsletter February – 2006 Issue