Dun & Bradstreet Splits Up 3 Firms Will Replace Information Provider

Article excerpt

Financial information provider Dun & Bradstreet Corp. announced Tuesday it will split into three companies, divesting itself of the provider of Nielsen television ratings and some other operations.

Dun & Bradstreet will continue to exist and provide the business information for which it has been known for 155 years. A second company, Cognizant Corp., will offer advice and information to the health-care and technology industries. It will include Nielsen Media Research.

A third, A.C. Nielsen, will provide marketing data to companies that produce consumer packaged goods.

"Today, market focus and speed are the primary drivers of competitive advantage," chief executive Robert E. Weissman said in a statement. "This plan is our blueprint for success in the 21st century."

Dun & Bradstreet's move follows the decisions of several large companies last year to spin off operations and become more nimble and competitive.A

The split by Wilton, Conn.-based Dun & Bradstreet will result in a fourth-quarter charge that will reduce earnings by $448 million before taxes. …