Dutch media group VNU has received a takeover approach from a group of private equity firms that values the company at around 7.3bn euros (£5bn).
VNU owns the Nielsen TV ratings business
The private equity consortium, which includes the Blackstone Group, the Carlyle Group and Permira, has spent several weeks examining VNU's accounts.
VNU says it is evaluating the offer and is not talking to any other parties.
The company has 38,000 employees working in marketing information, media measurement and business publishing.
The world's biggest market research company, VNU became a takeover target after abandoning a $7bn (5.8bn euros; £3.9bn) purchase of US healthcare firm IMS Health last November.
Leading institutional shareholders said that they could not support the deal, arguing it was too expensive and strategically risky.
In light of the decision, chief executive Rob van den Bergh said it was "appropriate" for him to stand down.