NEW YORK and HAARLEM, the Netherlands, April 30 /PRNewswire/ -- The Nielsen Company, a leading global information and media company, and BuzzMetrics, the global leader in tracking and analysis of online consumer- generated media, today announced that Nielsen and the other stockholders of BuzzMetrics have agreed in principle to a transaction under which Nielsen, which already owns approximately 58 percent of BuzzMetrics, would acquire the remaining BuzzMetrics shares it does not currently own. Financial terms were not disclosed. The transaction is expected to be completed by the end of May 2007. Nielsen has been involved with BuzzMetrics since January 2005, and took a majority position in February 2006. Earlier this year, Nielsen announced it had entered into a merger agreement with NetRatings, Inc. (Nasdaq: NTRT) under which Nielsen, which already owns approximately 60 percent of NetRatings, would acquire the NetRatings shares it does not currently own. That transaction, subject to NetRatings stockholder approval, is expected to be completed in the second or third quarter of this year. Upon completion of the BuzzMetrics and NetRatings transactions, Nielsen's premiere Internet information services -- which are marketed as Nielsen//NetRatings and Nielsen BuzzMetrics -- will be consolidated into a single service unit. The new service will be led by Itzhak Fisher, Executive Chairman of BuzzMetrics. As Executive Chairman of the new service, Mr. Fisher will continue to report to David Calhoun, Chairman and CEO of The Nielsen Company. "NetRatings and BuzzMetrics are recognized as the two leading providers of insight about consumer behavior online," said David Calhoun, Chairman and CEO of The Nielsen Company. "By acquiring 100 percent of these world-class brands, Nielsen can provide our clients with unrivaled understanding of consumer behavior in this space," added Calhoun. "More broadly, we can provide our clients with even more insightful information when Internet/Online consumer usage is combined with what products and services consumers buy (ACNielsen), what consumers watch on television (Nielsen Media Research), and what books, films, audio and video usages consumers interact with across multiple platforms. Providing a fully integrated suite of services will enable Nielsen to provide clients with unprecedented insights they need to grow their businesses." About The Nielsen Company The Nielsen Company is a global information and media company with leading market positions and recognized brands in marketing information (ACNielsen), media information (Nielsen Media Research), business publications (Billboard, The Hollywood Reporter, Adweek), trade shows and the newspaper sector (Scarborough Research). The privately held company has more than 42,000 employees and is active in more than 100 countries, with headquarters in Haarlem, the Netherlands, and New York, USA. For more information, please visit http://www.nielsen.com. About NetRatings NetRatings, Inc. (Nasdaq: NTRT) delivers leading Internet media and market research solutions, marketed globally under the Nielsen//NetRatings brand. With high quality, technology-driven products and services, Nielsen//NetRatings is the global standard for Internet audience measurement and premier source for online advertising intelligence, enabling clients to make informed business decisions regarding their Internet and digital strategies. The Nielsen//NetRatings portfolio includes panel-based and site- centric Internet audience measurement services, online advertising intelligence, user lifestyle and demographic data, e-commerce and transaction metrics, and custom data, research and analysis. For more information, please visit http://www.nielsen-netratings.com. About Nielsen BuzzMetrics The Nielsen BuzzMetrics service, marketed by BuzzMetrics, Inc., is the global standard in measuring consumer-generated media and word of mouth. Nielsen BuzzMetrics helps more than 100 leading global companies interpret and leverage the buzz surrounding clients such as Canon, Comcast, Ford, General Motors, HBO, Kraft, Microsoft, Nokia, P&G, Sony, Target and Toyota, as well as the top 15 pharmaceutical concerns. Other clients include the world's largest marketing-services firms, and innovative new-marketing agencies. The company has also collaborated with distinguished research organizations such as the Pew Internet and American Life Project. BuzzMetrics, Inc. is a subsidiary of The Nielsen Company, owner of such renowned research names as ACNielsen and Nielsen Media Research. For more information, visit http://www.nielsenbuzzmetrics.com. Forward-looking Statements This communication contains "forward-looking statements" which represent the current expectations and beliefs of management of Nielsen concerning the proposed acquisition of BuzzMetrics and other future events and their potential effects on Nielsen and BuzzMetrics. The statements, analyses, and other information contained herein relating to the proposed acquisition, as well as other statements including words such as "anticipate," "believe," "plan," "estimate," "expect," "intend," "will," "should," "may," and other similar expressions, are "forward-looking statements" under the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. These forward-looking statements are not guarantees of future results and are subject to certain risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from those anticipated. Those factors include, without limitation: (1) whether a definitive stock purchase agreement is signed by Nielsen and the other stockholders of BuzzMetrics; (2) the satisfaction of the other conditions specified in the purchase agreement; (3) the ability to successfully combine the businesses of Nielsen and BuzzMetrics and BuzzMetrics and Nielsen NetRatings; (4) operating costs and business disruption following the acquisition, including adverse effects on relationships with employees; (5) changes in the stock market and interest rate environment that affect revenues; (6) diversion of management time on acquisition related issues; (7) control and retention of key employees upon announcement of the proposed acquisition and following closing; (8) general economic conditions such as inflation; and (9) general political and social conditions such as war, political unrest and terrorism.
SOURCE The Nielsen Company