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Shares of TV ratings giant Nielsen Holdings (NLSN) - Get Free Report plunged Thursday after the New York Post reported that private-equity giant Blackstone Group (BX) - Get Free Report  was bowing out of the bidding process.

The New York Post reported on Thursday that Blackstone has opted against making a final offer for Nielsen, citing the struggling ompany's problematic financials.

Another private-equity firm, Apollo Global (APO) - Get Free Report , also is losing interest in making a bid for the troubled company, the Post said, citing sources close to the situation.

The news sent Nielsen's shares plunging Thursday, down just under 10% to $24.04 on the New York Stock Exchange.

A key issue is Nielsen's balance sheet. While the company's current share price values it at about $9.4 billion, its debt of roughly $8 billion raises the cost to upward of $17 billion.

Blackstone's managing director, David Calhoun - who ran Nielsen between 2006 and 2013 - reportedly didn't like the numbers, the Post said, citing sources familiar with the negotiations.

A spokeswoman for Nielsen told the Post that the company was continuing to review its strategic options, including operating as a standalone public company, a separation of its divisions, or a sale.

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