Verenigde Nederlandse Uitgeverijen

"VNU" redirects here. For other uses, see VNU (disambiguation).

Verenigde Nederlandse Uitgeverijen (VNU, literally "United Dutch Publishers", founded 1964) was a Dutch publishing company with products including European consumer magazines, Dutch regional newspapers, business publications in the European and North American markets, and educational publications.[1]

In 1997 VNU acquired the directory publishing business of ITT Sheraton (ITT World Directories) for $2.1 billion; the business was renamed VNU World Directories.[1]

VNU acquired Nielsen Media Research, part of the former AC Nielsen Company, in 1999.[2] It was the owner of the Hungarian business magazine Figyelő in the 1990s.[3]

The company disposed of its magazine publishing arm in the 1990s to Sanoma for €1.25 million, and sold its newspaper properties to Wegener. Focusing instead on market research and data collection, it acquired AC Nielsen in 2001, recombining the two halves of the former Nielsen business, and added other research and data collection units including BASES, Claritas, HCI and Spectra. In 2006 the company was acquired by a consortium of six investors for €28.75 per share, a sum of €7.5 billion.[4] In the same year, the group hired David L. Calhoun, formerly of General Electric, as CEO.[5]

In 2004, VNU World Directories was sold to Apax Partners and Cinven.[6] VNU sold its business publications division in 2006 for €320m (£210m) to venture capital group 3i, which then sold the UK division (VNU Business Publications Ltd) to Incisive Media.[7]

The company was renamed The Nielsen Company in 2007.[8]


  1. 1 2 "International Directory of Company Histories",, St. James Press, 27, 1999
  2. Pope, Kyle. “VNU to Buy Nielsen Media for $2.5 Billion — Accord to Help Dutch Firm Speed Up Its Transition To Information Concern.” The Wall Street Journal, August 17, 1999
  3. Rita M. Csapo-Sweet; Ildiko Kaposi (Spring 1999). "Mass Media in Post-Communist Hungary". International Communications Bulletin. 34 (1-2). Retrieved 27 December 2014.
  4. "Historie van de Verenigde Nederlandse Uitgevers", (in Dutch), RTL Nederland, retrieved 29 September 2011
  5. Siklos, Richard. “Made to Measure”, Fortune Magazine, February 20, 2008. Retrieved September 29, 2011.
  6. Apax and Cinven set to win £1.4bn fight for VNU arm
  7. Incisive to buy VNU Business Publications, Daily Telegraph, February 6, 2007
  8. "VNU Changing Name to The Nielsen Company",, 22 January 2007

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