RBS dropped as Nielsen IPO underwriter: report

NEW YORK Wed Jan 19, 2011 10:39pm EST

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NEW YORK (Reuters) - RBS Securities was removed from the underwriting group for Nielsen Holdings BV's planned $1.6 billion initial public offering after unauthorized communications on the stock sale were sent out, Bloomberg reported on Wednesday.

According to the news agency, Nielsen, a television audience-rating company owned by KKR & Co. and five other private-equity firms, said an employee at the overseas unit of a "previously named proposed underwriter" for the IPO distributed an unauthorized e-mail to potential institutional investors.

Nielsen, which didn't name the employee or the underwriter, omitted RBS from the list of underwriters in an amended registration statement filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, Bloomberg said.

Under U.S. securities laws, companies that market their stock to investors before the disclosure documents have been cleared by the SEC can be forced to delay the sale or buy back the shares should they decline in value later.

Bloomberg said Nielsen spokesman Ed Dandridge and Michael Geller, a spokesman for RBS, both said they had no immediate comment. RBS is a unit of Royal Bank of Scotland Plc (RBS.L).

A spokesperson for RBS in Britain declined to comment and there was no immediate comment from Nielsen in New York when contacted by Reuters.

The managers for the sale include JPMorgan Chase & Co. (JPM.N), Morgan Stanley (MS.N) and Goldman Sachs Group Inc (GS.N).

Nielsen has said it would seek to sell 71.4 million shares for $20 to $22 each, raising as much as $1.57 billion. The market-research firm first filed for the IPO in June.

(Reporting by Steve James; Editing by Dhara Ranasinghe)

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