AAP Finance

JCDecaux to buy APN Outdoor for $1.12bn

By AAP Newswire

APN Outdoor looks set to be acquired by JCDecaux after the France-based outdoor advertising giant raised its bid to $1.12 billion.

JCDecaux has lifted its all-cash offer for the billboards and outdoor advertising group from $6.52 per share to $6.70, clinching the unanimous approval of the APN Outdoor board.

APN Outdoor chief executive James Warburton said the bid reflected APN's strong performance.

"The recommended acquisition of APN Outdoor by JCDecaux represents an excellent outcome for our shareholders, staff and partners," Mr Warburton said on Tuesday.

The offer represents an 18 per cent premium to the share price on June 18, prior to JCDecaux's interest being made public, and is 30 cents higher than its most recent value of $6.40.

The path was cleared for JCDecaux this week when oOh!Media beat APN Outdoor to acquire Adshel from rival Here, There and Everywhere for $570 million.

Not buying Adshel had been a condition of JCDecaux's initial offer.

"The scheme is great news for APN Outdoor staff," Mr Warburton said.

"JCDecaux is a leading global out-of-home company, with more than one million advertising panels in more than 80 countries (and) more than 13,000 employees."

APN Outdoor plans a fully franked special dividend of up to 30 cents on or shortly before the implementation of the scheme, which requires approval from shareholders, the Federal Court, the competition watchdog, and the Foreign Investment Review Board.