Nielsen and WPP swap data assets

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The Nielsen Co. and WPP have agreed to trade some research and data assets in response to regulatory requirements.

By trading with WPP, Nielsen will gain 100% ownership in AGBNielsen Media Research (AGBNMR), which measures international television audiences. Previously, Nielsen and WPP had each owned 50% of AGBNMR. Nielsen will combine the research company with its North American television measurement arm and its online, mobile, advertising and radio measurement businesses to form a media product portfolio with a global footprint.

“In an increasingly digital world, it is essential for Nielsen to strengthen its global market position,” David Calhoun, chairman and CEO of Nielsen, said in a statement. “As a fully integrated part of our company, AGBNMR will be an important part of our portfolio and better positioned to offer high quality measurement for its clients.”

WPP will receive three separate properties from Nielsen in exchange: SRDS, PERQ/HCI and Nielsen's 11% share in IBOPE Group's IBOPE PDM, IBOPE LA and IMI.com. SRDS offers media rates and data to the advertising industry, and PERQ/HI offers insights into media planning, trading and post-campaign effectiveness for the healthcare industry. IBOPE Group — in which WPP already holds a 31% stake — provides media, market and opinion research.

All transferred assets will join WPP's The Kantar Group. The deal is expected to close by the end of this year.

Because of market regulations, WPP had to divest itself of either its AGBNMR stake or TNS's European television audience measurement business. The company chose to keep TNS because “…the strength and breadth of the TNS offer and the quality of the management team provide us with a unique opportunity to develop Kantar Group's integrated media measurement and insight capability, in which we and our clients believe so strongly,” Eric Salma, CEO of Kantar, explained in a statement.

Neither company could be reached for comment as of press time.

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