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Nielsen completes acquisition of Harris Interactive

Rochester Business Journal
February 3, 2014

Harris Interactive Inc. on Monday became part of Nielsen Holdings N.V.

Nielsen said it has completed the tender offer to acquire all outstanding shares of Harris Interactive Inc. by Nielsen and its wholly owned subsidiary, Prime Acquisition Corp.

Harris Interactive on Monday notified the Nasdaq Stock Market LLC of the consummation of the merger and requested Nasdaq halt trading in the shares for Monday and suspend trading of the shares effective Tuesday, a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission states. It also requested it file with the SEC to delist and deregister the shares.

Nielsen had agreed in November to acquire the Brighton-based Harris Interactive for some $116.6 million, or $2 a share, subject to adjustments. The final price per share was $2.04, pushing the value to nearly $119 million.
 
The offer expired effective as of midnight Jan. 31. More than 46.3 million shares had been validly tendered and not withdrawn, which represented some 79 percent of the outstanding shares of common stock of Harris Interactive, Nielsen said. All such shares have been accepted for payment.

Harris Interactive will be woven into Nielsen’s Buy business segment, providing information to manufacturers and retailers to make better decisions about their spending habits. The Harris Poll brand will be maintained, officials said.

"Harris Interactive is a natural fit with Nielsen's portfolio of solutions, as the organization shares Nielsen's commitment to deliver robust and integrated insights to clients to drive business outcomes," said John Lewis, president for the Americas for Nielsen, said in a statement. "This acquisition enables deeper insights into consumer sentiment as well as what consumers are, watching and buying while also expanding our footprint with important industry verticals including pharmaceutical, automotive and financial services."

In accordance with the terms of the merger agreement, Harris Interactive leaders Al Angrisani, president and CEO; Eric Narowski, chief financial officer; and Marc Levin, chief operating officer, resigned. All other officers of the Harris Interactive were replaced.

An update for Nielsen’s full-year guidance will be held Feb. 13. It will include the influence of Harris Interactive during its fourth-quarter earnings.

 (c) 2014 Rochester Business Journal. To obtain permission to reprint this article, call 585-546-8303 or e-mail service@rbj.net.


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