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Brookfield-led group buys media measuring company Nielsen for $16-billion, including debt – The Globe and Mail

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Brookfield Asset Management is part of an investment group that hopes to take iconic television-ratings company Nielsen Holdings plc private in a US$10-billion deal.

The group, which is led by activist investors Elliott Investment Management L.P., convinced the Nielsen board to agree to a US$28-per-share offer for its New York Stock Exchange listed shares after rejecting an earlier bid.

Nielsen, which traded for US$17.51 per share as recently as March 11, said on March 20 that it had turned down an offer of US$25.40 for its stock.

The consortium will take on just over US$5.8-billion in Nielsen debt, prompting Nielsen to label the transaction a US$16-billion deal.

Brookfield’s part of the deal will be conducted via its Brookfield Business Partners LP entity, which trades separately from the parent on the Toronto and New York stock exchanges. Brookfield says it will put US$600-million of its own money in the deal, and will bring other unnamed institutional partners in to buy a total of US$2.5-billion in preferred equity in the new Nielsen structure.

That preferred equity will be convertible into 45 per cent of Nielsen’s stock, post-transaction. Brookfield “will be actively involved in the company’s governance,” it said in a statement.

While many know Nielsen for its television ratings, the company has branched out into measures of audience and other data and analytics across multiple platforms, in 55 countries. It had US$3.5-billion in revenue last year.

Dave Gregory, a managing partner at Brookfield Business Partners, said in a statement that Nielsen is “a market-leading company that is deeply embedded in the media ecosystem as a trusted service provider to its customers. Nielsen is well positioned to lead the industry into the next generation of audience measurement across all channels and platforms.”

When Nielsen rejected the lower offer earlier this month, it said The WindAcre Partnership LLC, which owns 9.6 per cent of the company, had advised it that it opposed the deal and would acquire additional shares so that it could prevent shareholder approval of the proposed transaction. Windacre, Nielsen said, declined to join the Elliott-Brookfield consortium.

Nielsen said WindAcre’s ownership disclosures on March 14 said the investor had economic exposure to 51,914,900 Nielsen shares, or 14.44 per cent of Nielsen, through total return swaps. That is in addition to its 9.6 per cent common-share ownership.

Under United Kingdom law, a takeover requires approval of at least 75 per cent in value of the shares voting on the transaction. While Nielsen is headquartered in New York City, it is registered as a UK corporation.

The transaction agreement provides for a 45-day “go-shop” period, during which Nielsen will actively solicit, evaluate and possibly enter into negotiations with parties that offer alternative proposals, Nielsen said. Following the period, Nielsen will be permitted to continue discussions with any person or group that submitted a qualifying proposal during the 45-day period, if the Nielsen board determines the proposal is superior to this transaction.

Any competing bidder would pay the US$102-million termination fee owes the Elliott-Brookfield consortium if it backs out.

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Ideon Media announces exclusive Canadian partnership with VICE Media Group – GlobeNewswire

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TORONTO, May 25, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Ideon Media announced today it will serve as the exclusive ad sales and branded content development partner for VICE Media Group (VMG), the world’s largest independent youth media group, in Canada. VMG digital properties, which include VICE.com, and Refinery29.com, reach a combined 13.3 million unique visitors in Canada per month across all platforms (GAR, GWL, Comscore, VICE Census).

The new partnership will see Ideon Media exclusively represent the commercial activity of  VICE.com and Refinery29.com in Canada to brands and advertisers. This includes the sale of media advertising and sponsorships, production of branded content as well as affiliate advertising and commissions.

“VICE leaves an indelible mark on the public discourse, with impressive in-depth reporting and authentic storytelling that resonates worldwide. We’re so proud to represent VICE in Canada, and so flattered that Ideon has been given full latitude to help Canadian advertisers tell their stories on platforms like VICE and Refinery29 using Canadian talent and creators,” said Kevin Bartus, Ideon Media President and CEO.

“VICE is a true Canadian media success story, and has always been the gold standard for integrated campaigns targeting the youth demographic, and I am thrilled to be working with the company again. From best-in-class branded content, to incredible brand-sponsored events, and even cutting-edge proprietary digital ad products; VICE and Refinery29 allow brands to reach a huge Canadian audience of highly influential Gen-Z and Millennial young people in authentic and meaningful ways,” said Shawn Phelan, Vice President of Brand Partnerships, Ideon Media.

“I am delighted to be partnering with Kevin, Shawn and the team at Ideon in Canada to drive future growth across our publishing business. Our shared passion for the VICE brands, storytelling, breakthrough content solutions and our audiences will allow us to realise our ambitious growth targets in the market and to forge new opportunities with brands and advertisers,” said Luke Barnes, Chief Revenue Officer and Chief Digital Officer, EMEA, VICE Media Group.

ABOUT VICE MEDIA GROUP
VICE Media Group is the world’s largest independent youth media company. Launched in 1994, VICE has offices across 25 countries across the globe with a focus on five key businesses: VICE.com, an award-winning international network of digital content; VICE STUDIOS, a feature film and television production studio; VICE TV, an Emmy-winning international television network; a Peabody award winning NEWS division with the most Emmy-awarded nightly news broadcast; and VIRTUE, a global, full-service creative agency. VICE Media Group’s portfolio includes Refinery29, the leading global media and entertainment company focused on women; PULSE Films, a London-based next-generation production studio with outposts in Los Angeles, New York, Paris and Berlin; and i-D, a global digital and bimonthly magazine defining fashion and contemporary culture and design.

ABOUT IDEON MEDIA (www.ideonmedia.com)
Ideon Media is a Toronto-based digital firm that offers a wide spectrum of advertiser solutions with best-in-class publisher representation and wholly owned and operated sites, including SavvyMom.ca and 29Secrets.com. Ideon specializes in custom content programs created by our award-winning in-house editorial team, influencer programs, events, performance network, proprietary data, and analytics. Ideon Media reaches a combined total of 18.6 million Canadians (Comscore, March 2022).

For more information or interview requests: Shawn Phelan at shawn.phelan@ideonmedia.com

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'Alarming levels of stress' harming mental health of Canadian journalists and media workers – Canada NewsWire

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The study provides comprehensive data on how growing harassment of media workers, COVID-19, workload, job insecurity and a culture that neglects employee health are causing high rates of anxiety, depression, burnout and trauma-related injury.

“The Taking Care survey results confirm some of our worst fears and suspicions about our industry,” said Carleton University journalism professor Matthew Pearson, one of two lead researchers on the project. “The onus now is on newsroom leaders, executives and journalism educators to grasp the gravity of this situation and meaningfully address it to stop the harms Canadian media workers are suffering on the job.”

The 20-minute anonymous online survey was conducted between Nov. 1 and Dec 18, 2021 and reveals some startling health impacts resulting from events of the last four years:

            Respondent mental health symptoms at rates far above Canadian average
                        69 % report anxiety
                        46 % depression
                        15 % post-traumatic stress injury (PTSD)

Media workers face high rates of trauma exposure (stories of death, injury, suffering)

  • Two-thirds negatively affected by graphic, disturbing stories
  • 80% suffered burnout as a result of trauma coverage
  • 1 in 10 have thought about suicide tied to coverage

Media workers face rampant harassment online and in the field

  • 56% report online harassment and threats
  • 35% experienced harassment in the field

Other major findings:

  • 46% report higher-risk drinking and 26% are heavy drinkers
  • 53% have sought medical help to deal with work stress and mental health
  • 85% have never received training on mental health and trauma at work

“Journalists and media workers expressed high rates of job satisfaction,” said Dave Seglins, a senior investigative journalist with CBC News and industry mental health advocate, and the project’s other lead researcher. “What that tells us is that many people love their jobs, but their jobs don’t always love them.” 

“This is a wake-up call,” Seglins added. “There is an alarming amount of stress in virtually all corners of the industry and something must be done. This is not just a ‘management issue.’ Everyone in the industry – from the frontlines, to assignment, to newsroom managers, to corporate executives, to unions and associations – all have a role to play in changing the culture.”

Pearson added: “By recognizing media workers’ elevated risks of trauma, acknowledging their personal sacrifices and honouring their commitment, we can together create a healthier, more sustainable news industry – one that better supports its people in pursuit of journalism’s greater mission of serving the public good.”

The researchers received funding from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC), the Canadian Journalism Forum on Violence and Trauma and Carleton University. Today’s report was tabled at a news conference on Parliament Hill sponsored by Senator Paula Simmons, herself a journalist and political columnist.

The full report can be downloaded from the Forum’s website in English or French. It will be the subject of two bilingual sessions supported by the Forum at the National Conference of the Canadian Association of Journalists in Montreal on May 27 and 28. 

Our thanks to Cision for sponsoring this announcement.

SOURCE Canadian Journalism Forum on Violence and Trauma

For further information: All media enquiries should be sent directly to the researchers by email: [email protected]; For other information about the Forum, please contact Jane Hawkes, Executive Producer: [email protected]

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Evening Update: Texas gunman posted on social media about attacking a school minutes before shooting – The Globe and Mail

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Good evening, let’s start with today’s top stories:

Texas gunman posted on social media about attacking a school minutes before shooting, governor says

Just 30 minutes before opening fire in a Texas elementary school, gunman Salvador Ramos, 18, had made three separate posts on social media: The first said he was going to shoot his grandmother, a second that he had done so and a third that he was about to shoot up a school, the state’s governor said today.

Ramos had legally purchased the AR-15 semi-automatic rifle shortly after his 18th birthday and just days before he stormed a classroom at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, killing 19 children and two teachers, according to authorities.

As details of the latest mass killing to rock the U.S. emerged, grief engulfed the small town of Uvalde, population 16,000.

The dead included an outgoing 10-year-old, Eliahna Garcia, who loved to sing, dance and play basketball; a fellow fourth grader, Xavier Javier Lopez, who had been eagerly awaiting a summer of swimming; and a teacher, Eva Mireles, with 17 years’ experience whose husband is an officer with the school district’s police department. Here are more details about the victims of the massacre.

Read more:

In Russian-occupied parts of Ukraine, terrorized civilians recount war crimes and ‘chaos’

Officers at a police station in Beryslav district – a small corner of Ukrainian-controlled territory at the northern tip of Kherson Oblast in the country’s south – have been on the front lines of Russian occupation. Thousands of people fled the area; some have stopped at the police station to recount what they’d endured. Officers have opened hundreds of war crime cases at the station.

For those living under occupation, there is “an absence of any basic rights,” said Captain Mykola Marinik, who is deputy head of investigations in the district. “Rights belong to the person holding a gun. People have no ability to protect their freedoms, their property or their own lives.” Read the full story by The Globe’s Nathan Vanderklippe.

Meanwhile, President Vladimir Putin issued an order today to fast track Russian citizenship for residents in parts of southern Ukraine, while lawmakers in Moscow passed a bill to strengthen the Russian army. The order, applying to the Kherson and Zaporizhzhia regions, could allow Russia to strengthen its hold on territory that lies between eastern Ukraine and the Crimean Peninsula, which Russia seized in 2014.

The Russian army is engaged in an intense battle for Ukraine’s eastern Donbas region. Lawmakers have agreed to scrap the age limit of 40 for individuals signing their first voluntary military contracts, in sign that Moscow is attempting to strengthen its military.

This is the daily Evening Update newsletter. If you’re reading this on the web, or it was sent to you as a forward, you can sign up for Evening Update and more than 20 more Globe newsletters here. If you like what you see, please share it with your friends.

ALSO ON OUR RADAR

U.S. Fed embraces 50-basis-point rate hikes in June, July to curb ‘very high’ inflation: All participants at the Federal Reserve’s May 3-4 policy meeting backed a half-percentage-point increase in its benchmark lending rate to combat inflation they agreed had become a key threat to the economy’s performance and was at risk of racing higher without action by the U.S. central bank, minutes of the session showed on Wednesday.

Federal government isn’t ruling out court challenge to Quebec’s Bill 96: Federal Justice Minister David Lametti says he first wants to see how it’s implemented, adding that the law could be enforced in a way that doesn’t violate constitutionally protected rights.

British PM Boris Johnson says he takes ‘full responsibility’ after damning final report into ‘partygate’ scandal: British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has issued a renewed apology for the conduct of his staff after an internal investigation found widespread drinking, violations of COVID-19 restrictions and abuse of cleaning staff at Downing Street.

Victims’ families tell lawyers to boycott N.S. mass shooting inquiry over questioning of Mounties: The relatives of victims of the 2020 Nova Scotia mass shooting have told their lawyers to boycott the public inquiry investigating the tragedy, after its commissioners decided to prevent cross-examination of key Mountie witnesses.

Shortage of family doctors puts B.C. government on defensive: At a time when thousands of British Columbians are struggling to access a family doctor, and while family physicians who remain in practice are battling rising costs, physicians are feeling undervalued in the province.

MARKET WATCH

Wall Street closed higher Wednesday, boosted after minutes from the Federal Reserve’s latest monetary policy meeting showed policymakers unanimously felt the U.S. economy was very strong as they grappled with reining in inflation without triggering a recession. Canada’s main stock index also rose, reaching its highest level in more than a week, as higher oil prices boosted energy shares and stronger-than-expected bank earnings bolstered financials.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 191.66 points, or 0.6%, to 32,120.28, the S&P 500 gained 37.25 points, or 0.95%, to 3,978.73 and the Nasdaq Composite added 170.29 points, or 1.51%, to 11,434.74.

The Toronto Stock Exchange’s S&P/TSX Composite Index ended up 97.55 points, or 0.5%, at 20,383.75, its highest closing level since May 17.

The Canadian dollar traded for 77.90 cents US compared with 77.97 cents US on Tuesday.

Got a news tip that you’d like us to look into? E-mail us at tips@globeandmail.com. Need to share documents securely? Reach out via SecureDrop.

TALKING POINTS

With Bill 96, François Legault is trying to tiptoe out of Canada’s constitutional order

“But the overall response to Bill 96 in the rest of Canada has been one of overwhelming uninterest. While language has long been the hottest political issue in Quebec, and its protection is seen as sacrosanct, it hardly registers outside it.” – The Editorial Board

Hong Kong’s ‘autonomy’ era is all but over, only halfway through

“What is important to bear in mind is that what has happened in Hong Kong is only a symptom showing where China is heading.” – Dennis Kwok

The history of Cantopop is the history of Hong Kong – and perhaps its grim future

“If, as John Lennon once said, “music reflects the state that the society is in,” its fade and absence should surely refract as sharply. And so Ms. [Denise] Ho’s arrest signals something deeper: the loss of a unique culture, in a place undergoing a forced identity crisis.” – Adrian Lee

Biden’s visit to Asia highlights the continent’s ‘Finlandization’ – a desire to steer clear of conflict between Russia and the West

“The term “Finlandization” describes a commitment to strategic neutrality that a small country might make, in order to avoid provoking a much larger and more powerful neighbour … Even as Finland abandons Finlandization though, many Asian countries may well be set to adopt it.” –Takatoshi Ito

LIVING BETTER

Avoid crowded airports and security delays with these three cross-border trips

If news of chaos and long wait-times at airports has you rethinking your summer travel plans, you may want to consider a road trip, instead. One way to fulfill your wanderlust without emptying your wallet (entirely) would be to visit a U.S. border town, many of which have exciting new developments happening. Less than 90 minutes from Vancouver, Bellingham, Wash., has a new waterpark, beaches and walking trails to enjoy. There’s also plenty to explore in Buffalo, like the recently-restored Buffalo Heritage Carousel, now operated by solar power at the newly revitalized waterfront venue Canalside.

TODAY’S LONG READ

Telesat is in race to deliver high-speed satellite internet, but it’s going up against two of the world’s richest men

Telesat, a once stodgy psuedo-government outpost, is in a race to deliver the fastest satellite internet to customers around the world. But it’s going up against two of the richest (and most unpredictable) men on the planetNathan Cyprys/The Globe and Mail

Every spring and fall, over the course of several days, Nunavut’s government employees lose telecommunications abilities for up to 12 minutes at a time. Most of the territory’s internet connectivity is beamed via a single satellite locked in place 36,000 kilometres above the Earth. A couple times a year, the sun’s angle overpowers the satellite’s signal, shutting down communications.

That satellite, Telstar 19 Vantage, launched by Ottawa-based Telesat in 2018, brought slightly faster internet speeds than an earlier one did, but it suffers from lag time, and its limited capacity means the government’s connectivity needs far outweigh what the satellite can provide, which means users need to ration internet.

Dan Goldberg, chief executive officer of Telesat, has been working toward a solution. A few years ago, Goldberg announced plans to launch low-Earth-orbit (LEO) communications satellites, which whiz around the planet multiple times a day but at lower altitudes, allowing them to offer speedy and reliable internet. Telesat called the endeavour Lightspeed: It’s a $6.5-billion network of 298 initial satellites aimed at serving enterprise customers such as governments, telecoms, and companies in the marine and airline industries. Despite many opportunities, the project has encountered various barriers. As the program moves forward, nothing less than the future of the company is tethered to Goldberg getting the Lightspeed rollout right. Read the full story by Jason Kirby.

Evening Update is written by Prajakta Dhopade. If you’d like to receive this newsletter by e-mail every weekday evening, go here to sign up. If you have any feedback, send us a note.

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