3i Flips VNU’s Former U.K. Assets
By Marrecca Fiore
European private equity firm 3i, which purchased the European and Dutch publishing interests of VNU (now The Neilsen Co.) in December, has agreed to sell the U.K. assets of the acquisition to London-based Incisive Media for an undisclosed price. VNU Business Publications Ltd. publishes 10 publications, 22 Web sites and six events in the b-to-b IT, special interest computer and business finance markets. Its revenues were about $83 million last year, according to a statement from Incisive Media.
London-based Incise Media’s U.S. assets include ClickZ.com, a marketing news and research network of Web sites, Searchenginewatch.com and SearchEngine Strategies conferences. Last year’s $453 million buyout of Incisive Media by Apax Partners was number 8 on media bankers, DeSilva & Phillips Top 25 deals of 2006. The $11.1 billion acquisition of VNU by a consortium of private equity firms was the top deal of the year on DeSilva & Phillips list.
Shedding its European publishing interests is one of many changes VNU, publisher of Adweek, The Hollywood Reporter and other b-to-b publications, has undertaken since the company was bought out last June. The most recent change involved the company’s name – changed to The Nielsen Company, to reflect the company’s well-know data and information services arm. A source this week said the name change also reflects a future change in focus for the company to be more heavily reliant on data services as opposed to business media. "Look for the company’s future acquisitions to reflect the name it’s chosen for itself," said the source.