Nielsen prices IPO up on high demand

TELEVISION ratings firm Nielsen priced its $1.6bn (£1bn) initial public offering above the expected range yesterday on the back of higher demand.

Private-equity owned Nielsen sold 71.4m shares for $23 each, above the planned price of $20 to $22, as well as $250m worth of subordinated bonds. All the proceeds are expected to go towards cutting Nielsen’s $8.6bn debt pile.

The ambitious IPO is the first major New York listing of 2011 and the biggest private equity IPO since Spirit AeroSystem’s $1.65bn offering in 2006. Nielsen was bought out for $10m in 2006 by a consortium of firms that included Carlyle, Blackstone and KKR among others.

JPMorgan and Morgan Stanley were lead underwriters for the deal.