VNU, the Netherlands-based global media company, has received a buy-out offer from a consortium of private equity firms for EUR 28.00 to 28.50 per share, or about $8.8 billion, the company announced today. The private equity group includes AlpInvest Partners, The Blackstone Group, The Carlyle Group, Hellman & Freidman, Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co., Permira and Thomas H. Lee Partners.

The proposal comes after several weeks of due diligence and access to VNU management, according to the company. The company says it is not in talks with any other parties.

VNU, the parent of U.S.-based VNU Business Media, will continue discussing the buy-out with the consortium as it weighs "alternatives and fully and fairly evaluate what course of action will serve the best interests" of its shareholders.

According to Reuters, analysts had expected a higher valuation for the company;falling somewhere between EUR 29.50 to 31.00 per share.

Last year, the company abandoned a proposed $7 billion acquisition of IMS Health after investors protested, making the company a prime takeover target.