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Nielsen Acquires Harris Interactive

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Nielsen Holdings N.V. (NLSN - Free Report) recently entered into a definitive agreement to acquire market research firm Harris Interactive . The deal has been finalized for a sum of approximately $116.6 million.

Founded by Dr. Gordon S. Black in 1975, Harris Interactive is a market research firm, known for the Harris Poll, with its headquarters located in Rochester, N.Y. The company is a member of several research organizations, including the US National Council of Public Polls, the British Polling Council, the Council of American Survey Research Organizations, the US Council for Marketing and Opinion Research, and the UK Market Research Society.

As per the terms of the agreement, Nielsen will form a wholly owned subsidiary with the intention of using it as a medium to offer a tender to acquire all the outstanding shares of Harris Interactive’s common stock. The holders of outstanding shares will receive $2 per share in cash, subject to the adjustment clause in the agreement.

Nielsen management believes that this acquisition will add to the company’s existing capabilities and also open up growth prospects for Nielsen in other industries.

Harris Interactive believes that this association will help discover new methods of understanding customer behaviour all over the world. This acquisition deal is believed to mark the successful completion of the turnaround strategy adopted by Harris Interactive recently.

Nielsen Holdings N.V. is an information and measurement company providing clients with media and marketing information and analytics about what consumers watch (consumer interaction with television, online and mobile) and what consumers buy on a global and local basis. Recently, in Sep, 2013, Nielsen acquired an international media and marketing research firm named Arbitron Inc. These acquisitions are expected to broaden Nielsen’s customer base and network offerings, thus providing the company a significant competitive edge.

Nielsen reported revenues of $1.39 billion in the third quarter, up 2.7% from the year-ago quarter. The increase was due to higher demand for the company's analytics services and growth in its television ratings business.

Currently, Nielsen has a Zacks Rank # 1 (Strong Buy). Some other stocks with good Zacks ranks include Melco Crown Entertainment Ltd with a Zacks Rank # 1 (Strong Buy) and  Mcgraw Hill Financial Inc with a Zacks Rank # 2 (Buy).

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