Elliott takes big stake in Nielsen to push company to sell itself: WSJ

(Reuters) - Activist investor Elliott Management Corp has taken a large stake in Nielsen Holdings Plc NLSN.N as it plans to push the TV-ratings company to sell itself, the Wall Street Journal reported on Sunday, citing sources.

Elliott has accumulated an 8 percent stake, which could be worth at least $640 million, in Nielsen, sources told WSJ.

Multiple private-equity firms have shown interest in Nielsen, the Journal said, citing the sources.

Nielsen is known for its television ratings that are used to determine ad rates for traditional TV commercials.

Elliott believes that Nielsen’s “buy” segment, which measures retail and consumer behavior, has failed to keep up with competitors like market research company IRI, WSJ reported.

A spokeswoman from Nielsen told WSJ that the board welcomes the views of its owners, including Elliott, as it continues to evaluate how to best position the business.

Nielsen and Elliott did not immediately respond to Reuters request for comment outside regular business hours.

Reporting by Ishita Chigilli Palli in Bengaluru; Editing by Sunil Nair