OOH market heats up as JCDecaux makes $1.09bn bid for APN

Latest offer to acquire ASX-listed APN Outdoor Group marks a series of offers in the out-of-home supplier space

The battle for out-of-home advertising supremacy has stepped up another notch, with APN Outdoor Group confirming a $1.09 billion bid for its business from JCDecaux (JCD) – but only if it drops plans to buy Adshel.

The ASX-listed parent company (ASX: APO) confirmed it had received an unsolicited, non-binding offer from its rival to acquire 100 per cent of issued share capital in the organisation at $6.52, or a total of $1.088 billion. The deal is conditional on APO not pursuing its proposed $500 million acquisition of third rival, Adshel, which was lodged in May.

In addition, the offer is conditional on a six-week due diligence period, implementation of the acquisition via a scheme of arrangement, a requirement that APO’s board agrees unanimously to recommend the sale to shareholders, and regulatory approval.

In a statement, APO highlighted the appeal of its own proposal lodged on 22 May to acquire 100 per cent of Adshel in Australia and New Zealand for $500 million, and said it’s working to advance due diligence with a view to agreeing to a transaction with Adshel’s parent company, HT&E.

“APO believes that the Adshel proposal is an attractive opportunity for the company and its shareholders,” the company stated. However, it warned no agreement has yet been reached, leaving the Adshel deal more of an if, not a when.

“The board of APO has commenced an assessment of the JCD proposal and will keep the market informed of any material developments in accordance with its continuous disclosure requirements,” the company stated, adding APO shareholders do not need to take any further action at this stage.

APN’s bid for Adshel came just days after rival player, oOh!Media, lodged its second, $470 million bid for the business. An earlier bid was rejected by HT&E in April.

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