Warburton leaving as APN, JCD merger approved

James Warburton is departing from APN Outdoor following the merger with JCDecaux gaining approval from foreign investment boards, and will be replaced by Steve O’Connor.

The merger was officially approved yesterday, with Warburton confirming his exit in multiple media outlets today.


Steve O’Connor is the CEO of JCDecaux, which purchased APN in the merger. APN shareholders voted in approval for the merger earlier this month.


APN and oOh!media originally put forward a proposal to merge, which was rejected by the ACCC. They then both placed bids for Adshel, the outdoor division of HT&E, with oOh! edging out its rival.


Following that, JCDecaux put forward a proposal to purchase APN, and with approval now given, the four largest players in outdoor advertising have become two.


Warburton says the vote was a great result for staff, shareholders and partners.


He says, "The $6.70 a share all-cash offer for APN Outdoor represents a record valuation for outdoor industry transactions in Australia and New Zealand and a strong premium to where APN Outdoor shares were trading just two months before the offer was received.


“The valuation and share price premium highlights how far we have come in improving APN Outdoor’s performance.”


In the company’s HY financial results, revenue grew by four per cent from the previous corresponding period (pcp), from $162.3m to $168.4m, and the split between digital and print narrowed.


Digital revenue now sits at 42 per cent of the total, from 37 per cent in the pcp. APN is the only major outdoor player that still generates most of its revenue from print, with direct rival oOh! reporting that it now gets 64 per cent of its revenue from digital sources.


Following the merger with JCDecaux, this may change.


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