Nielsen Laying Off 3,500 in New Cost-Cutting Plan

Restructuring charges estimated at $150M to $170M
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Nielsen announced a new plan to cut costs and create operational efficiencies that will result in the reduction of its global workforce by about 3,500 employees.

The company expects that plan to generate savings of about $250 million annually after taking a 2020 pre-tax restructuring charge of about $150 million to $170 million dollars. Nielsen had estimated that the charges would total between $120 million and $140 million.

Nielsen also estimates $40 to $50 million of non-cash, pre-tax impairment charges in the second quarter related to these planned exits.

As part of the plan, Nielsen said it will exit selected businesses and markets, but didn’t specify in its announcement.

“As discussed on our earnings call in April, we have increased our focus on platform consolidations, further automation, optimizing our global footprint, and ensuring that our resource allocation aligns with high-margin essential services,” said Nielsen CEO David Kenny. “Today's plan encompasses, accelerates, and expands on those initiatives. These restructuring actions will further expedite our transformation to a more efficient, agile, and scalable organization and are designed to drive sustained margin expansion and increased cash generation.”

Nielsen last year announced plans to, one focused on global media measurement, the other Nielsen Global Connected. The completion of the spinoff was delayed by the COVID-19 pandemic and the deal is not expected to close till early 2021.

The company had been under pressure from investor Elliott Management, which owned a 13% stake and had been critical of Nielsen’s financial performance.

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