Private equity giant Blackstone Group is dropping out of the Nielsen Holdings sales process — putting the future of the auction in doubt.
Nielsen Holdings — the 95-year-old consumer research firm best known for its TV-ratings reports — has restarted a process to sell itself amid fresh interest from Blackstone Group, the private equity shop controlled by billionaire Stephen Schwarzman.
21st Century Fox and the private equity firm Blackstone are in talks to launch a bid for Tribune Media, a source with knowledge of the matter said Sunday. The deal currently under discussion would see Blackstone and Rupert Murdoch’s 21st Century Fox forming a joint venture. Blackstone would provide the cash for the acquisition while Fox would add all its owned-and-operated television stations to the joint venture.
Industry watchers say the equity firm’s quiet decision to sell its TV stations in Baltimore, Detroit and Buffalo suggests a bearish market for the spectrum that will be auction in the upcoming FCC auction. Reuters reports Blackstone sold the stations for about $24 million to HME Equity Fund II.
The San Mateo (Calif.) Community College District staff recommended accepting a proposal to sell its noncommercial KCSM, a public broadcasting station located on the campus of the College of San Mateo, to LocusPoint Networks, a spectrum speculator owned by private equity firm The Blackstone Group. The District Board will meet Wednesday to consider the staff’s recommendation.