Nielsen Announces Sale of Global Connect Business to Advent International For USD2.7Bn

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Advent, in partnership with former TransUnion CEO Jim Peck, will accelerate Nielsen Global Connect’s transformation and support its continued innovation in consumer and market measurement.

NEW YORK and BOSTON, November 1, 2020 Nielsen Holdings plc announced today that it has signed a definitive agreement under which affiliates of Advent International, one of the largest and most experienced global private equity investors, in partnership with James “Jim” Peck, former Chief Executive Officer of TransUnion, will acquire the Nielsen Global Connect business for $2.7 billion (subject to working capital, cash, debt-like items and other customary adjustments).

Nielsen Announces Sale of Global Connect Business to Advent International For USD2.7Bn

Nielsen will also receive warrants in the new company exercisable in certain circumstances. Upon completion of the transaction, Nielsen Global Connect will be a private company with the flexibility to continue investing in the development and deployment of leading-edge measurement products and solutions. The transaction was unanimously approved by Nielsen’s Board of Directors.

“This is a win for both Nielsen Global Connect and for Nielsen (RemainCo), as well as for our shareholders,” said David Kenny, Chief Executive Officer, Nielsen. “The sale of this business to Advent will deliver substantial value sooner than was anticipated through the planned spin-off and creates certainty for all stakeholders. The proceeds from the sale will allow Nielsen to significantly reduce debt, which will provide greater financial flexibility to execute our growth strategy and expand our role in the global media marketplace.

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At the same time, we are excited about this opportunity for Nielsen Global Connect and believe that moving forward as a private company will better position the business to accelerate its transformation and strengthen its market-leading position.

With the support of Advent’s resources and expertise, we believe the new company will create and define the next century of consumer and market measurement. We thank the entire Nielsen Global Connect team for their invaluable partnership and look forward to continuing a strong working relationship with them in the future.”

Kenny added, “All of the terrific work done by so many to pursue a spin-off will position both businesses to thrive as standalone companies and will allow us to execute a smooth transaction. We are grateful for all of this dedicated work.”

“Nielsen Global Connect is the gold standard in retail measurement, with exceptional insights and unrivalled scale and coverage of the global CPG and retail markets,” said Peck. “As customers face a rapidly evolving marketplace, we recognize that they have high expectations for Nielsen Global Connect to help them meet these new demands and to build on its existing core platform and other retail measurement capabilities.

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We intend to work with David Rawlinson and the talented management team to accelerate the delivery of new capabilities and to continue the transformation underway to build an innovative, high-performing culture acutely focused on delivering value to customers around the world.”

“Advent is thrilled to partner with Jim in driving this next phase of growth for Nielsen Global Connect,” said Chris Egan, Managing Partner at Advent. “Advent has invested in data and information services companies for nearly three decades, and earlier this year we teamed up with Jim to identify a compelling business in the sector where we can apply our combined experience and resources to create value. We see tremendous potential to build on Global Connect’s cutting-edge platform, drawing on our global footprint and operational strength to further scale the business and advance its leadership across established and emerging markets.”

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David Rawlinson will remain CEO of Nielsen Global Connect through the close of the transaction and is expected to be part of the leadership team for the go-forward company. Upon close, Peck will be involved in the day-to-day strategic and operational activities of the company, which will be headquartered in Chicago, IL. In early 2021, the Global Connect business will be renamed NielsenIQ.

Nielsen will grant Nielsen Global Connect a license to brand its products and services with the “Nielsen” name and other Nielsen trademarks for 20 years following closing. Additionally, Nielsen and Advent will enter into agreements pursuant to which, among other things, Nielsen and Advent will provide certain transitional services to each other for periods of up to 24 months following closing, grant each other reciprocal licenses for certain data and corresponding services relating to that data for periods of up to five years following closing and grant each other licenses to use certain patents.

BACKGROUND ON NIELSEN GLOBAL CONNECT AND TRANSACTION DETAILS

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Nielsen Global Connect provides consumer packaged goods manufacturers and retailers with actionable information and a complete picture of the complex and changing marketplace that brands need to innovate and grow their business. The company offers data and builds tools that use predictive models to turn market observations into business decisions and winning solutions. These data and insights provide the essential foundation that makes markets possible in the rapidly evolving world of commerce.

Nielsen plans to use net proceeds of the transaction primarily to reduce debt and for general corporate purposes. On a Pro-forma basis for the transaction, Nielsen expects year-end 2020 net leverage to be under 4X. The transaction is subject to approval by Nielsen shareholders, regulatory approvals, consultation with the works council and other customary closing conditions; it is expected to close in the second quarter of 2021.

ADVISORS

J.P. Morgan Securities LLC and Guggenheim Securities, LLC are acting as financial advisors to Nielsen, and Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz, Clifford Chance LLP, DLA Piper, and Baker McKenzie are serving as legal advisors to Nielsen. Ropes & Gray LLP and Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP are serving as legal counsel to Advent and BofA Securities is serving as lead financial advisor, with Deutsche Bank Securities Inc., RBC Capital Markets and UBS Investment Bank also advising. Financing for the transaction is being arranged and provided by Bank of America, UBS Investment Bank, Barclays, Deutsche Bank AG New York, HSBC, RBC Capital Markets, MUFG and Wells Fargo.

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Nielsen Announces Sale of Global Connect Business to Advent International For USD2.7Bn - Brand SpurNielsen Announces Sale of Global Connect Business to Advent International For USD2.7Bn - Brand Spur

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The Boutique Hotel Under Gudou Holdings Co., Ltd. Further Expands to Panyu District, Guangzhou— Guangzhou Gudou Quanfeng Residence Officially Opens on 10 February 2021

HONG KONG SAR - Media OutReach - 25 February 2021 - Gudou Holdings Limited ("Gudou Holdings" or "Company", which together with its subsidiaries, is referred to as the "Group", SEHK stock code: 8308), is pleased to announce that Guangzhou Gudou Quanfeng Residence, the Group's first boutique hotel project in Panyu District, Guangzhou City, has officially opened on 10 February 2021.

Guangzhou Gudou Quanfeng Residence has 33 guest rooms, including 2 two-bedroom suites and 3 three-bedroom suites. The design is modelled on one of the ancient Lingnan (southern Chinese) architectural style, "Guanyindou", which features the shape of two handles of a wok on either sides of the roof of a building in the ancient town of Shawan, Panyu. Carrying on the tradition of the "Gudou" brand, the hotel organizes one-stop leisure and entertainment activities and are installed with comprehensive facilities to provide a new experience for tourists who prefer to enjoy the finer things in life in the traditional ambience.

Guangzhou Gudou Quanfeng Residence is conveniently located in the Hills Ecool Creative Park in Panyu, which occupies a total site area of​​340,000 square meters at the southern tip of Panyu District. The hotel is easily accessible by a developed network of roads around the Hills, including South China Expressway, Xinguang Express, Nansha Port Express and other highways. Therefore, it is easy to travel from the hotel to Zhujiang New Town in Guangzhou, and thus elsewhere in the Pearl River Delta. It takes five minutes to reach the Chimelong Paradise, and the Blessing Colorful World within easy reach. The Clifford Station on Metro Line 21 will also be opened in 2021 and it is only an about 10-minute walk from the hotel. In the Panyu Golden Valley Eko Creative Park, a head office for environmental operation of business and a district for shopping and leisure will be built. Such plan has earned the park a reputation as "China's Number One Low-Carbon Community". The rising occupancy rates of the office buildings in Panyu will also mean an increase in business travelers who, in turn, can drive up the occupancy rates of the hotel and the spending there.

There are many well-known tourist attractions near Guangzhou Gudou Quanfeng Residence, including Chimelong Paradise, Blessing Colorful World, Dafu Mountain Forest Park, Lianhua Mountain Tourist Area, Shawan Ancient Town and IKEA Store, which is popular with young people. The Evergrande Football Stadium, which can seat 100,000 spectators, is also expected to be completed in 2022 and will be able to accommodate tourists who stay in Guangzhou for two days and one night.

Mr. HON Chi Ming, Chairman, Chief Executive Officer and Executive Director of the Group, said, "The Group is very satisfied and encouraged by the opening of the Guangzhou Gudou Quanfeng Residence. The hotel is conveniently located in an area where there are comprehensive facilities. Therefore, the area is expected to attract a large number of tourists. Since the apartment hotel has already been renovated and equipped with upgraded facilities and soft furnishings, not much more capital will be required for putting the hotel in operation in a short time. This means cost-effectiveness at the hotel and can quickly responding to the trend of tourism recovery. Looking ahead, tourism property development will remain the focus of the Group's business development. Specifically, we will actively expand our tourism property business in Guangdong Province, provide more quality services to meet customer needs, and increase investors' awareness of Gudou Holdings' brand. All this is aimed at creating better returns."


About Gudou Holdings Limited

Gudou Holdings is a hot spring resort and hotel operator and a tourism property developer in the People's Republic of China ("PRC"). It principally engages in (i) the operation and management of the hot spring resort and hotel facilities of Gudou Hot Spring Resort, which is a national AAAA-level tourist area, and provision of consultancy and/or management services; and (ii) the development and sale of tourism properties in Guangdong Province. The "Gudou" brand is a well-known brand of integrated hot spring resort in the PRC. Gudou Holdings operates six theme hotels, among which Royal SPA Hotel was rated as a five-star hot spring by the National Hot Spring Tourism Enterprise Star Rating Committee in 2020. The resort complexes with a variety of leisure and recreational facilities, including hot spring facilities, hotels, commercial stores, food and beverages outlets, recreational waterpark, a spa centre, a conference centre, parks, tourist attractions and other ancillary leisure and recreational facilities. The Group's newly established Guangdong Gudou Quanfeng Cultural Tourism Development Co., Ltd. has further expanded its presence to Guangzhou with the official opening of Guangzhou Gudou Quanfeng Residence on 10 February 2021, marking the latest headway following the official operation commencement of Gudou Spring Superior Hotel, located in the center of Jiangmen on 15 January 2021.


Nielsen Announces Sale of Global Connect Business to Advent International For USD2.7Bn - Brand Spur
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