Nielsen Holdings N.V. has agreed to pay $1.26 billion for Columbia-based Arbitron, a company that collects data on radio listeners and other content, the companies announced today.
The acquisition will allow Nielsen to better track the content that people listen to during their daily commute or when the radio plays around the house. The company already tracks television and Internet consumption to determine what consumers watch and buy.
“U.S. consumers spend almost 2 hours a day with radio. It is and will continue to be a vibrant and important advertising medium,” David Calhoun, Nielsen’s chief executive, said in a statement.
Nielsen will buy Arbitron’s outstanding stock for $48 per share in cash, marking a 26 percent premium compared to the stock’s closing price on Monday.
The acquisition is expected to save the companies at least $20 million as they integrate technology platforms and data collection efforts, the firms said.
Arbitron employs 986 people in its offices across the country, including 638 at its headquarters in Columbia.
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