Nielsen buying market research firm Harris Interactive for about $116.6M

Consumer research and TV ratings firm Nielsen agreed to buy market research firm Harris Interactive for about $116.6 million, saying it will help it provide insights to customers.

Harris Interactive said Nielsen agreed to pay $2 per share, but the price may change. The per-share amount is 4 per cent below Harris Interactive Inc.’s $2.08 Friday closing price.

Harris Interactive CEO Al Angrisani said in a statement on Monday that the company chose the Nielsen transaction after a review of its strategic options that started earlier this year. Harris Interactive’s board unanimously approved the deal.

John Lewis, president of the Americas for Nielsen, said in a statement that the acquisition adds to the company’s existing capabilities and will provide growth opportunities in other industry sectors.

The transaction is expected to close in the first quarter.

Shares of Rochester, N.Y.-based Harris Interactive fell 9 cents, or 4.3 per cent, to $1.99 in midday trading. Shares of Nielsen Holdings N.V., which is based in New York and the Netherlands, added 59 cents, or 1.4 per cent, to $41.71.