Singapore fund boosts stake in TV firm Nielsen

Caitlin Morrison
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SINGAPORE’S sovereign wealth fund GIC has increased its stake in data company Nielsen, and now holds five per cent of the firm’s common stock.

According to a US Securities and Exchange Commission filing, the stake comprises of 18,788,010 shares, which has a market value of $16.7bn (£10.9bn).

The amount paid by GIC to increase its holding in the TV viewing figures specialist has not been disclosed.

GIC, which has been ranked as the eighth-largest fund in the world by the Sovereign Wealth Fund Institute, with $320bn of assets, has spent the past year taking on a series of stakes in businesses throughout various emerging and developed markets.

Plans for a £2bn float of UK roadside recovery business RAC were thrown off track in September last year, when the fund swooped in to buy a major stake in the firm from private equity owner Carlyle Group. GIC is now joint majority shareholder of RAC together with Carlyle. At the time of that deal, Henry Ormond, senior vice-president of GIC Special Investments, said RAC was a good example of GIC’s investment objectives as a long-term investor because it “combines both consistently strong financial performance, driven by the outstanding quality of service it offers its members, and continued growth potential”.

Last year also saw the fund up its holding in online pet store Pets at Home.

The Singapore-based fund also holds stakes in Heathrow Air­port and the Broadgate office and retail complex in London, and has previously had large stakes in Citigroup and UBS.

Shares in Nielsen were narrowly up by around 0.3 per cent on the New York Stock Exchange yesterday.