QMS private equity sales pegs company value at $571.6 million

ASX-listed out of home and sports media provider acquired by private equity firm after days of speculation

The transformation of Australia’s out-of-home (OOH) market continues, with the sale of QMS Media to a private equity firm in a deal that pegs the company’s value at $571.6 million.

After days of speculation, the ASX-listed company announced today Quadrant Private Equity was acquiring 100 per cent of issued share capital in the QMS Media business for $1.22 per share under a court-approved scheme of arrangement. The deal values QMS’s equity at $420.6 million.

The deal has been unanimously approved by QMS’s board of directors, but remains subject to approval by shareholders as well as Australia and New Zealand’s respective overseas investment review boards. QMS consists of both an Australia and a New Zealand OOH business, as well as the QMS Sports division.

QMS Media chairman, Wayne Stevenson, said having considered a range of strategic alternatives for some or all parts of the business, the board felt the unsolicited offer from Quadrant represented the best deal. He noted over the past four years, QMS’s share price has lifted from $0.65 to the sale value of $1.22.

QMS Media CEO, Barclay Nettlefold, described the acquisition as an excellent outcome for shareholders, partners and employees.

“It is a testament to our sustained growth in a challenging market, and our continued market-leading digital revenue contribution, led by our strong and experienced executive management team,” he said in a statement.

Quadrant partner, Jonathon Pearce, highlighted the out-of-home provider’s sustainable growth track record as a key element in its acquisition. In its recent half-year financial report, QMS reported a 23 per cent rise in revenue to $128.9 million, with 85 per cent lift in grow profit to $90.5 million.

Within this, the QMS Australia OOH business reported an 8 per cent increase in revenue to $64.4 million and 16 per cent lift in underlying EBIDTA to $21.6 million.

“Under Barclay’s continued leadership and with Quadrant providing additional capital, we believe the business will continue to grow and deliver innovative market-leading solutions to customers across the Australia and New Zealand media and global sports divisions,” Pearce said.

News of QMS’s sale comes a little over 12 months after fellow ASX-listed OOH company, oOh! Media, was confirmed as the successful bidder for Adshel’s business for $570 million. The deal ended a bidding war for the Adshel business between oOh! and its rival, APN Outdoor, which saw the price tag rise by $100 million over the course of just a few months.  

Just days after the deal was done, OOH rival, JC Decaux, secured its acquisition of APN Outdoor for $1.12 billion.

News of QMS becoming part of the Quadrant stable of companies also comes just a month after the group completed its acquisitions of Stride Sports Management Holdings and subsidiary, TLA Worldwide Australia for $23.7 million.  At the time, the two deals were described as helping QMS Sport as a global integrated sports platform with a strategy across technology, infrastructure, media rights, events, talent management and merchandise.  

Follow CMO on Twitter: @CMOAustralia, take part in the CMO conversation on LinkedIn: CMO ANZ, follow our regular updates via CMO Australia's Linkedin company page, or join us on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/CMOAustralia. 

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