French-based signage giant JCDecaux (JCD) has made an offer to acquire APN Outdoor (APN), offering $6.52 per share, valuing the company at $1.1bn.
This is occurring simultaneously as APN attempts to purchase the slightly smaller player Adshel, for a total price of $500m, with JCD insisting as part of its terms that APN drops its attempts to purchase Adshel.
JCD also includes the terms that APN unanimously recommends the sale to shareholders, in the absence of a superior offer.
APN says the price of $6.52 per share under the JCD Proposal represents a modest premium of 11.5 per cent to the closing APO share price on June 20, and 13.8 per cent to the 5-day APO volume weighted average price.
The board says no action needs to be taken as of yet by shareholders, as it considers the offer made by JCD.
APN informed the market on May 22 that it had made a confidential, indicative and non-binding proposal to acquire 100 per cent of Adshel in Australia and New Zealand, and is currently conducting its due diligence.
The company says it believes that the Adshel Proposal is an attractive opportunity for the Company and its shareholders, and that despite the Adshel Proposal being at an advanced state, no agreement has been reached, and as such there is no certainty that the Adshel Proposal will result in a transaction.
While the ACCC knocked back an attempted merger between oOh!media and APN earlier this year, citing a potential lack of competition in the market, it remains to be seen if it will take the same ruling to a potential JCD/APN merger, as oOh!media could reasonably be considered a strong competitor.
It could also potentially open up the door to an oOh!media purchase of Adshel, though at this point that remains purely speculation.
In its most recent financial results, the total revenue for APN came to $342.9m, up four per cent from the prior corresponding period (pcp). Classic (print) made up $214.3m, falling one per cent from $216.9m last year, accounting for 62 per cent of total revenue.
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