Intelliseek acquired, forms part of new VNU-backed company as VNU looks to be acquired

Two of the leading companies in tracking and analysing what consumers are talking about online have joined forces to create, in the words of the formal press release, the new global standard for measuring and understanding word-of-mouth behavior and influence.

Market intelligence firm Intelliseek has been acquired by word-of-mouth research and planning company Buzzmetrics. The new combination will be known as Buzzmetrics Inc and operate under the Neilsen Buzzmetrics brand, backed by Dutch media group VNU who will own a majority stake in the new company.

Of additional interest to this deal is news today that VNU itself is in the final stages of being acquired by a consortium including some of the world’s biggest private equity groups who made a non-binding offer for VNU yesterday, valuing the company at up to €7.3 billion ($8.8 billion).

The Financial Times reports that the bid comes from a group comprising Blackstone, Carlyle, Kohlberg Kravis Roberts, Permira, Hellman & Friedman, Alpinvest and Thomas H. Lee.

The FT said that a sale of VNU may prompt trade buyers to express interest in parts of the business. VNU comprises AC Nielsen, the market researcher, Nielsen Media Research, which monitors television ratings, and a smaller trade show and magazine division publishing titles including Hollywood Reporter and Billboard.

VNU said it expects to provide more information within three to four weeks, the FT reported.

Related NevOn post:

[Update] Shel and I managed to grab an interview with Pete Blackshaw this evening (my time) to talk about today’s announcement.