Nielsen to buy radio ratings company Arbitron for $1.26 billion


Nielsen Holdings NV, known for its television viewership ratings, agreed to buy Arbitron Inc, the top provider of radio station audience ratings in the United States, for $1.26 billion in cash.

The $48 per share offer represents a 26 percent premium to Arbitron's Monday close on the New York Stock Exchange. Shares of the company were trading just below the offer price before the bell on Tuesday.

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"Arbitron will help Nielsen better solve unmeasured areas of media consumption, including streaming audio and out-of-home," Nielsen Chief Executive David Calhoun said in a statement.

"The high level of engagement with radio and TV among rapidly growing multicultural audiences makes this central to Nielsen's priorities."

Arbitron reported revenue of $445 million for the 12 months ended September 30.

The acquisition will add about 13 cents per share to Nielsen's adjusted profit a year after the deal is completed, the company said.

Nielsen, which provides a large range of marketing and consumer information services apart from TV ratings, has a financing commitment for the total purchase price.

Nielsen said on Monday that it will partner with Twitter to publish a new set of ratings that measure chatter on Twitter about TV programming.

The transaction has been approved by the boards of both companies.

(Reporting by Sayantani Ghosh in Bangalore; Editing by Roshni Menon)