Rentrak Corporation is acquiring Nielsen EDI in a deal the parties said would create a box office data service offering real-time measurement of theatrical box office ticket sales across 90% of the globe.

The transaction is expected to close in the first quarter of 2010 subject to consultation with employee representative bodies and other regulatory requirements in certain jurisdictions.

Nielsen EDI parent The Nielsen Company will also enter into a long-term data licence agreement with Rentrak for continued access to certain box office sales information for certain of its existing products and services that currently use or feature such data.

Nielsen EDI will be integrated into Rentrak’s AMI division and its Box Office Essentials business and currently captures theatrical box office results from more than 50,000 theatre screens in 14 countries.

The transaction will provide box office data for North America, the UK, Australia, Argentina, Brazil, France, Germany, Hong Kong, India, Japan, Korea, Mexico, Russia and Spain, to name a few.

“This strategic transaction will provide Rentrak with a substantial global platform, further enabling our ability to provide robust measurement capabilities and analytics to entertainment, media and advertising companies throughout the world, and from which to pursue new business opportunities,“ Rentrak CEO Bill Livek said.

“While EDI has been an important part of the Nielsen portfolio, this transaction allows our entertainment group to focus on its core businesses and those parts of the company that are most aligned with our long-term strategy,” Nielsen Entertainment president Eric Weinberg said.

“Nielsen remains committed to increasing its understanding of the connected consumer, with a special focus on the relationship between media consumption and consumer purchase behavior.”