The IPO Buzz: Paging Barnum & Bailey

Getting star billing are Nielsen Holdings N.V. (NLSN – proposed), now a Netherlands-based provider of audience measurement systems, and Demand Media (DMD – proposed), a Santa Monica, California-based Internet media provider.
Both deals are expected to be priced Tuesday evening and to start trading on Wednesday morning on the New York Stock Exchange. Each has drawn a lot of media coverage and should attract more.
Nielsen by the Numbers
Formed in 1923 by Arthur C. Nielsen, the company is known for its TV audience measurement service. But it offers other services, including those oriented to online and mobile media and marketing. Its current operations were purchased in May 2006 by a consortium of private equity firms: AlpInvest Partners, The Blackstone Group, The Carlyle Group, Hellman & Friedman, Kohlberg Kravis Roberts and Thomas H. Lee Partners.
Before the offering, the P/E firms own about 96.6 percent of the outstanding shares of Nielsen Holdings.
The company plans to offer 71.4 million shares at $20 to $22 each to raise $1.5 billion, or about $1.4 billion after underwriting discounts, expenses and commissions. All of the proceeds will go to the company to partially pay off some of its outstanding debt. And that is a question being raised about the offering.
The company has total outstanding debt of $8.57 billion and interest expenses of $491 million. The company reported revenues of about $5.1 billion over the last 12 months.
New Take on Demand
Let’s move on to the week’s other headliner: Demand Media.
It’s “the pick of the week,” according to Wall Street professionals. Put another way, the deal is said to be “in demand.”
Formed in 2006, Demand Media offers a new Internet-based model for professionals to create commercially valuable content driven by consumers’ needs.
The company, which has about 600 employees, generated revenues of nearly $235 million over the last 12 months.
Demand Media offers two different services. One is its Content & Media service, which distributes online text and videos. The company believes it is the largest contributor to YouTube — uploading between 10,000 and 20,000 new videos per month — and gets about 1.5 million page views per day.
Demand Media’s other service is its registrar provider. The unit has over 10 million Internet domain names under management. It believes that it is the world’s largest wholesale registrar and the world’s second-largest registrar overall. Demand Media provides domain name registration services and offers value-added services to more than 7,000 active resellers.
Demand Media plans to offer 7.5 million shares at $14 to $16 each to raise $112.5 million. The company will offer 4.5 million shares and selling shareholders will offer 3 million shares.
But that’s not all, folks.
Pocketful of Stars
There are several deals that are starting to emerge as star performers. Interestingly enough, all are scheduled to start trading on Friday, Jan. 28. They are:
Adecoagro SA (AGRO – proposed), a South American agricultural producer, expects to offer 28.6 million shares at $13 to $15 each to raise $400 million.
BankUnited (BKU – proposed), a Miami Lakes, Florida-based savings and loan holding company, expects to offer 26.3 million shares at $23 to $25 each to raise $630 million. The company will offer 4 million shares and selling shareholders will offer 22.3 million shares.
BCD Semiconductor Manufacturing (BCDS – proposed), a China-based provider of semiconductor products, expects to offer 6 million American Depositary Shares (ADS) at $10.50 to $12.50 each to raise $69 million. The company will offer 4.3 million ADS and selling shareholders will offer 1.7 million ADS.
InterXion Holding N.V. (INXN – proposed), a Netherlands-based European data center operator, expects to offer 18.6 million ordinary shares at $11 to $13 each to raise $222.6 million. The company will offer 16.3 million shares and selling shareholders will offer 2.3 million shares.
Disclosure: Neither the author nor anyone else on the staff has a position in any stocks mentioned, nor do they trade or invest in IPOs. The author and staff do not issue advice, recommendations or opinions.