Verenigde Nederlandse Uitgeverijen
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Verenigde Nederlandse Uitgeverijen

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 Figyel? in the 1990s.[3]

In 2000, VNU acquired Miller Freeman, Inc. from United News & Media for a reported price of $650 million.[4] VNU merged much of the purchased Miller Freeman assets into VNU Expositions. VNU subsequently divested themselves of a few former Miller Freeman assets.[5]

VNU announced a heavy restructuring of its technology news portal, VNUNet, in February 2001. Ten employees were laid off thanks to the plan.[6] 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.[7] In the same year, the group hired David L. Calhoun, formerly of General Electric, as CEO.[8]

In 2004, VNU World Directories was sold to Apax Partners and Cinven.[9] 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.[10]

The company was renamed The Nielsen Company in 2007.[11]


  1. ^ a b "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 2014.
  4. ^ Staff (31 July 2000) '"VNU Acquires Miller Freeman From United News & Media" Business Publisher 15(1): p.1;
  5. ^ Staff (31 January 2002) "New company acquires titles from CMP Media: UP Media Group acquires PCB Group from CMP Media" Business Publisher 16(12): p. 1-2;
  6. ^ Vickers, Amy (February 23, 2001). " cuts staff in restructure". The Guardian. Retrieved 2019.
  7. ^ "Historie van de Verenigde Nederlandse Uitgevers", (in Dutch), RTL Nederland, retrieved 2011
  8. ^ Siklos, Richard. "Made to Measure", Fortune Magazine, February 20, 2008. Retrieved September 29, 2011.
  9. ^ Apax and Cinven set to win £1.4bn fight for VNU arm
  10. ^ Incisive to buy VNU Business Publications, Daily Telegraph, February 6, 2007
  11. ^ "VNU Changing Name to The Nielsen Company",, 22 January 2007

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