Part of a move made to free up cash in order to complete a proposed $1.26 billion acquisition of Arbitron, Nielsen announced a deal to sell its trade shows division to Toronto-based private equity firm Onex Corp. for $950 million in cash. The Outdoor Retailer Summer & Winter trade shows were part of Nielsen’s trade show unit.
The deal is expected to close in the second quarter.
Calling the trade show unit a non-core business, Nielsen CFO Brian West said, “We are thrilled to have this bump up right against Arbitron,” a purchase that is expected to close “as soon as the regulatory review comes to a close.” The Federal Trade Commission currently is conducting its second review of Nielsen’s proposed acquisition of Arbitron, which is the dominant supplier of radio audience measurement, as well as other media and marketing research services.
Nielsen said its trade shows generated $183 million in 2012.