Nielsen Up 30% Amid Elliott Acquisition Talks

Nielsen Up 30% Amid Elliott Acquisition Talks

The company, known for its television-related research, has struggled in recent years.

Reviewed by: Ben Kissam
Edited by: Ben Kissam

Nielsen Holdings plc (NLSN) soared 30% on Monday afternoon, rising from $17.07 to more than $23 per share. 

The large jump comes on the heels of an expected $15 billion acquisition announcement by Elliott Management Corp. As of Tuesday, the stock has maintained much of the prior day’s gain.  

NLSN is held in 137 ETFs, totaling 35.4 million shares. The ETFs with the greatest exposure to Nielsen Holdings are:  



The ETF with the most overall NLSN shares is the SPDR S&P 500 ETF Trust (SPY), which holds 3.87 million shares. Three other ETFs surpass the 3 million share threshold: the Invesco S&P 500 Equal Weight ETF (RSP) holds 3.25 million; the Vanguard Small-Cap ETF (VB) holds 3.13 million; and the Vanguard Small-Cap Value ETF (VBR) holds 3 million shares. 

Rounding out the top five, the iShares Core S&P 500 ETF (IVV) holds 2.96 million shares of NLSN. 

A range of ETF strategies currently invest in Nielsen Holdings. Cap-weighted vanilla ETFs top the list at 38, followed by 21 actively managed ETFs, 16 ESG ETFs, 16 value ETFs and 13 multifactor ETFs. 

Created in 1923, Nielsen, an information and data company, has long been synonymous with American television. Its strong brand identity helped it enjoy a wide moat across both the entertainment and advertising industries for several decades. 

However, the rapid growth of streaming platforms has hurt NLSN's stock price over the last five years. In 2016, the stock traded at its all-time high of $53.28, but has been on a rather steady decline ever since. The stock hit an all-time low of $12.54 in March 2020, right at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Nielsen Holdings started offering weekly streaming data in 2020. But it is now one of a large group of competitors in that space. 

Elliott Management Corp. has held a stake in NLSN since 2018. The Wall Street Journal reported on Monday that the group is in advanced talks to purchase the company outright for $15 billion. The deal would include more than $5 billion in outstanding debt. 

According to reports, a takeover could be completed in a matter of weeks. 

Ben Kissam is a writer and media strategist. A former educator, he's written two books and had essays published in The Boston Globe and Thought Catalog. He lives in Denver.