JCDecaux Seals APN Outdoor Deal
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APN Outdoor Group has given in and accepted a takeover offer from French outdoor group, JCDecaux (JCD) worth $1.119 billion.
The deal was signed on Tuesday morning several days after JCD first revealed its intention to bid.
The French company is offering $6.70 cash in its offer which will be done via a scheme of implementation with JCDecaux. APN Outdoor’s shares closed the day 0.3% higher at $6.42.
APN went into a trading halt on Monday pending an announcement after it lifted its offer fro Adshel (owned by HT&E) to $570 million from $540 million, and before that $500 million.
When HT&E revealed the sale of Adshel to oOh!media on Monday, the success of the JCD offer seemed very probable given the trading halt for APN shares.
JCDecaux co-chief executive offer Jean-Francois Decaux described the acquisition as a "significant milestone" for the global company.
"APN Outdoor is very complementary to our existing street furniture assets and through this acquisition, JCDecaux will be attractively positioned to provide a compelling proposition to compete more effectively in the Australian media market where Out-of-Home accounts for 6 per cent of advertising spend, of which almost 50 per cent is digital," he said in a statement.
"Finally, we are delighted to enter New Zealand, a fast-growing market."
APN CEO James Warburton said the agreement represented an “excellent outcome" for shareholders, partners and the company's 13,000 employees.
APN is the dominant out-of-home advertising company in Australia, with billboards, transit, rail and airport assets, while JCDecaux specialises in street furniture.
The deal will need to be approved by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission, and the Foreign Investment Review Board.
This is not the first time the outdoor advertising companies have looked for rationalisation in the market. In 2017, the ACCC indicated concerns about the $1.6 billion merger between oOh!media and APN on competition grounds. This saw the two companies abandoning the deal.
If the deal had gone ahead, it would have made the merged company the fifth-largest media company by market capitalisation at the time.
Glenn Dyer has been a finance journalist and TV producer for more than 40 years. He has worked at Maxwell Newton Publications, Queensland Newspapers, AAP, The Australian Financial Review, The Nine Network and Crikey.
At the AFR he was a finance writer, Finance Editor, News Editor and Chief of Staff. At the Nine Network he was supervising producer of Business Sunday for more than 16 years. He has also written for other online and analogue print publications here and overseas.