Private equity owners of Nielsen are planning an IPO for the market research company and expect to start interviewing banks, according to a source familiar with the situation.

Nielsen, the world's largest TV and consumer measurement company, was taken private in a $10 billion deal in 2006 by a group of six private equity firm -- Carlyle Group , Blackstone Group , Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co , Thomas H. Lee Partners , AlpInvest Partners and Hellman & Friedman.

They expect the offering will value the company's equity and debt at up to $21 billion, the Financial Times reported on Sunday.

The owners aim for the IPO to value Nielsen at 11 to 13 times earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization, the report said.

Nielsen could not be immediately reached for comment.

(Reporting by Megan Davies; Writing by Michael Erman; Editing by Lisa Von Ahn)