Nielsen Holdings NV, known for its television viewership ratings, agreed to buy Arbitron Inc, the top provider of radio station audience ratings in the United States, for $1.26 billion in cash.
The $48 per share offer represents a 26 percent premium to Arbitron's Monday close on the New York Stock Exchange. Shares of the company were trading just below the offer price before the bell on Tuesday.
"Arbitron will help Nielsen better solve unmeasured areas of media consumption, including streaming audio and out-of-home," Nielsen Chief Executive David Calhoun said in a statement.
"The high level of engagement with radio and TV among rapidly growing multicultural audiences makes this central to Nielsen's priorities."
Arbitron reported revenue of $445 million for the 12 months ended September 30.
The acquisition will add about 13 cents per share to Nielsen's adjusted profit a year after the deal is completed, the company said.
Nielsen, which provides a large range of marketing and consumer information services apart from TV ratings, has a financing commitment for the total purchase price.
Nielsen said on Monday that it will partner with Twitter to publish a new set of ratings that measure chatter on Twitter about TV programming.
The transaction has been approved by the boards of both companies.
(Reporting by Sayantani Ghosh in Bangalore; Editing by Roshni Menon)