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Nielsen Holdings to acquire Harris Interactive for $116.6 million

Nielsen Holdings N.V. has agreed to acquire Harris Interactive Inc. for nearly $117 million.

The deal for the market research firm is expected to close during the first quarter. Nielsen agreed to pay $116.6 million for the acquisition. The merger has been unanimously approved by Harris Interactive’s board of directors.

Nielsen Holdings, a global consumer research provider, will deliver a tender offer to acquire all the outstanding shares of Harris Interactive’s common stock (Nasdaq: HPOL).

"This announcement reflects the successful completion of the turnaround strategy that we began in July 2011 and will deliver to Harris Interactive stockholders meaningful value and liquidity immediately upon closing,” said Al Angrisani, president and CEO of Harris Interactive. “Harris Interactive’s board of directors selected the Nielsen transaction after a thorough review of the company’s strategic alternatives that began earlier this year.”

John J. Lewis, president of the Americas for Nielsen, said he believes his company’s clients and capabilities will help to drive Harris Interactive’s success.

"Harris Interactive’s strength with other industry verticals allows us to serve these clients with Nielsen’s differentiated solutions in areas such as marketing effectiveness, social and digital to achieve our growth objectives," he said.

Nielsen agreed to pay $2 per share, 8 cents a share below Friday’s closing price of $2.08. The companies said the price represents a 2 percent premium to the volume-weighted average closing price of the company’s common stock over the last 60 trading days.

A final purchase price will be determined by Harris Interactive’s average cash over a 10-day period before and after a reference date, nearly 20 business days after the offer’s commencement.

Macquarie Capital (USA) Inc. is Harris Interactive’s financial adviser with Fried, Frank, Harris, Shriver & Jacobson LLP as the company’s legal adviser.

Harris Interactive stock (Nasdaq: HPOL), was trading Monday afternoon at $1.99. Shares of the New York City and Netherlands-based company Nielsen Holdings added 59 cents, or 1.4 percent, to $41.71 Monday afternoon.

(c) 2013 Rochester Business Journal. To obtain permission to reprint this article, call 585-546-8303 or email [email protected].

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