OK, the headline is technically true but not very accurate. Nielsen Holdings,
parent of investor in [corrected] neuromarketing firm NeuroFocus, raised $1.6 billion in an initial public offering on Wednesday. Not only was that 10% more than anticipated, the stock continued to trade up after the IPO.
The bad news: the raise will be used solely to pay down debt, so the IPO won’t result in a big pool of cash to invest in new technologies. (Of course, the infusion of capital will strengthen the firm’s balance sheet even if the IPO proceeds go to lenders.)
The good news: while neuromarketing revenues are a tiny part of Nielsen’s current revenue stream, NeuroFocus is the largest player in the field. At a recent pre-IPO road show, NeuroFocus CEO A.K. Pradeep was introduced to the attendees. Nielsen’s original
acquisition of investment in Neurofocus was a boost for the credibility of the industry, and the firm’s new status as a publicly-held entity certainly won’t hurt.
While I’m sure those investors snapping up Nielsen’s shares were mostly interested in their media measurement business that drives the firm’s revenues and profits, I’m sure many were also reassured that Nielsen had at least one future star in its stable.