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.
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.
In 2000, VNU acquired Miller Freeman, Inc. from United News & Media for a reported price of $650 million. VNU merged much of the purchased Miller Freeman assets into VNU Expositions. VNU subsequently divested themselves of a few former Miller Freeman assets.
VNU announced a heavy restructuring of its technology news portal, VNUNet, in February 2001. Ten employees were laid off thanks to the plan. The company disposed of its entire magazine publishing arm later in 2001 to Sanoma for EUR1.25 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 EUR28.75 per share, a sum of EUR7.5 billion. In the same year, the group hired David L. Calhoun, formerly of General Electric, as CEO.
In 2004, VNU World Directories was sold to Apax Partners and Cinven. VNU sold its business publications division in 2006 for EUR320m (£210m) to venture capital group 3i, which then sold the UK division (VNU Business Publications Ltd) to Incisive Media.