Private equity-owned Nielsen Holdings expects to raise about $1.5 billion in an initial public offering of common stock, lower than the $2 billion for which it had earlier filed.
The New York-based data company, best known for its TV viewership ratings, said in a filing with the U.S Securities and Exchange Commission that it expects to sell 71.4 million shares at $20 to $22 each.
Last June, the company said it planned to raise up to $1.75 billion through an IPO, and revised that estimate to $2.01 billion in August.
Nielsen is expected to be the first in a wave of large private equity-backed IPOs. Toys R Us Inc and Kinder Morgan, for example, have also filed for IPOs.
Nielsen was taken private in 2006 in a $10 billion deal by a group of six private equity firms: Carlyle Group, Blackstone Group LP, Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co., Thomas H. Lee Partners, AlpInvest Partners and Hellman & Friedman.
Through that acquisition, Nielsen inherited high levels of debt. Although its revenue has grown, the company has posted several years of net losses.
In the nine months that ended Sept. 30, Nielsen posted net income of $128 million on revenue of $3.8 billion.
Nielsen's top clients include Coca Cola Co., NBC Universal, Nestle SA, News Corp., Procter & Gamble Co. and Unilever NV.
The company expects to use net proceeds of about $1.4 million to repay debt.
JPMorgan and Morgan Stanley are leading the underwriters on the IPO. The company intends to list its common stock on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol NLSN.
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