NEW YORK — Nielsen Holdings BV, the television ratings and consumer research company, plans to raise up to $1.75 billion in an initial public offering, the company said in a securities filing on Thursday.
Nielsen, which is based in The Netherlands, said in a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission that it will use proceeds to reduce its debt of $8.6 billion and for general corporate purposes.
Nielsen was acquired in May 2006 for roughly $9.7 billion by a group of private equity firms, which included AlpInvest Partners, Blackstone Group, Carlyle Group, Hellman & Friedman, Kohlberg Kravis Roberts and Thomas H. Lee Partners.
The company did not say how many shares it plans to offer or the price range it expects for them.
The volatility of the stock market could have a big effect on how much Nielsen is able to raise. Investors have been looking for discounts on recent IPOs. And an unusually high number of offerings have ended up pricing below their expected range this year.
Nielsen, best known for its TV ratings business, has operations in roughly 100 countries and annual revenue of about $4.8 billion. It is led by a former General Electric Co. executive, David L. Calhoun.
The company, which was known as VNU NV until 2007, recently pared back its trade publication business, selling some of its most iconic brands in December, including Billboard and The Hollywood Reporter.
Nielsen's core business involves collecting data on how people consume media and advertising, which companies use to make decisions on how they market their products. Along with television and Internet data, the company has also branched into providing information on the use of cell phones and other mobile gadgets.