VNU Shareholders Push For Breakup (sub. req.)

Across the waters, Dutch media/market research giant VNU is being pressured to disaggregate — ie break down into smaller conglomerates — just as Time Warner is in the U.S. The biggest difference: VNU’s largest shareholders agree that the company can’t remain as is and they don’t want it sold intact. What they can’t agree on, according to the WSJ, is how to dismantle it. The largest shareholders believe that a likely bid from a consortium of seven private equity firms wont be as valuable as breaking the company into three divisions and selling them separately; they believe the break-up sale could raise 35-40 Euros per share compared to the 28.50 Euros per share suggested as a top PE bid thus far.
It’s complicated. Maybe someone needs to commission a report.
Reuters covers the reaction to the Journal’s report. Sander van Oort, analyst, F. van Lanschot Bankiers: “The lack of interest from both industry peers and private equity … makes us sceptical towards the 35 to 40 euros per share value as indicated by the main shareholders.”
Related: Private Equity Consortium Bids Nearly $9 Billion For VNU