In Past 4 Years, Nielsen Issued $85.4M Equity to Employees

Ahead of an expected $1.5 billion initial public offering, Nielsen Holdings has disclosed that it issued $85.4 million in equity to employees over the past four years, Reuters said, citing a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Nielsen was taken private in 2006 by private equity investors Carlyle Group, Blackstone Group LP, Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co, Thomas H. Lee Partners, AlpInvest Partners and Hellman & Friedman. The company is expected price its initial public offering of 71.4 million shares for between $20 and $22 each on Tuesday, Reuters said.

(Reuters) – Ahead of its highly anticipated initial public offering, data measurement company Nielsen Holdings disclosed in a regulatory filing it has issued $85.4 million of equity to its employees over the past four years.

The equity was a mix of common stock, restricted stock units and options, with exercise prices ranging from $2.10 to $35.20, the company said in a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

The biggest year for Nielsen’s issuance to its employees was 2007, when it gave out equity worth $53.6 million. It issued between $10.4 million and $10.8 million in each of 2008, 2009 and the first nine months of 2010.

As of Sept. 30, Nielsen had more than 34,000 employees.

Nielsen was taken private in 2006 in a deal worth just over $10 billion by private equity firms Carlyle Group [CYL.UL], Blackstone Group LP (BX.N), Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co [KKR.UL], Thomas H. Lee Partners, AlpInvest Partners and Hellman & Friedman.

Nielsen is expected price its initial public offering of 71.4 million shares for between $20 and $22 each on Tuesday, after the close of U.S. markets. The $1.5 billion IPO is the first big private equity IPO of 2010 and is expected to set the tone for other big buyout-backed companies in the U.S. pipeline, including Toys R Us, hospital operator HCA and pipeline company Kinder Morgan. (Reporting by Clare Baldwin; Editing by Steve Orlofsky)