Nielsen to Acquire Remaining Shares of BuzzMetrics

The Nielsen Company has struck a deal to acquire the remaining shares of BuzzMetrics it doesn’t already own. Once it completes the purchase and closes on the outstanding shares of majority-owned NetRatings, which it agreed to buy earlier this year, Nielsen will consolidate all its Web measurement services into a single unit with a new name.

The Nielsen BuzzMetrics and Nielsen//NetRatings brands may continue to exist under the new unbrella division, which Nielsen believes will help clarify its sprawling measurement offerings to marketers. In addition to the online buzz measurement and site audience measurement services, the company offers market research through its ACNielsen division and TV ratings via Nielsen Media Research.

BuzzMetrics has been majority owned by Nielsen since February 2006, when the company bought 58 percent of BuzzMetrics’s shares. More recently, Nielsen struck a deal with NetRatings shareholders to buy out the 40 percent of the firm it didn’t already own. The acquisition of BuzzMetrics’ remaining shares is expected to close by the end of May, and Nielsen anticipates swallowing up NetRatings by the second or third quarter.

A spokesperson said the name of the new unit is still under consideration and will be announced following the completion of both transactions. The division will be led by BuzzMetrics Executive Chairman Itzhak Fisher.

An earlier version of this story said the Nielsen BuzzMetrics and Nielsen//NetRatings names would likely be retired. In fact, their fate has not been decided, and they may well be kept.

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