JC Decaux pursues $810 million bid for Australia billboard firm APN

JC Decaux, which sells ads on bus stops and billboards, has offered A$6.52 per APN share, valuing APN at around A$1.09 billion. (AFP)
Updated 25 June 2018
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JC Decaux pursues $810 million bid for Australia billboard firm APN

PARIS: French outdoor advertising company JC Decaux said it was still in talks with Australian billboard firm APN Outdoor Group over its offer to buy APN, currently worth around $810 million.
The statement from JC Decaux came after APN itself lost out in a bid for advertising firm Adshel, part of a series of deals in the lucrative Australian outdoor advertising market. The French group is one of four companies controlling an industry estimated to be worth some $660 million in Australia.
JC Decaux’s offer had in fact been conditional upon APN scrapping its $424 bid for HT&E’s Adshel outdoor advertising division Adshel. A deal for APN to buy Adshel would have increased the competitive pressure on JC Decaux’s local business.
JC Decaux, which sells ads on bus stops and billboards, has offered A$6.52 per APN share, valuing APN at around A$1.09 billion ($808.8 million).
“Until a transaction is agreed between the parties, there is no certainty that the proposal will result in any transaction. JC Decaux will continue to update the market in relation to the proposal,” JC Decaux said in a statement.
Last week, APN had called JC Decaux’s offer “modest” and had decided against backing down on its proposal to buy Adshel. In the event, APN was beaten out by rival Ooh!Media Ltd. in the fight to buy Adshel.
JC Decaux shares were up 0.5 percent on Monday, while shares in APN had been temporarily suspended.
APN and Ooh!Media rank first and second in the billboards and outdoor advertising market in Australia, according to research firm IBISWorld. JC Decaux ranks as the third-biggest in Australia, while HT&E ranks fourth.
The mergers and acquisitions activity within the Australian outdoor advertising sector has drawn close scrutiny from regulators, which had last year blocked a merger between APN and Ooh!Media.


China-US trade talks ‘making a final sprint’ — state media

U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin shakes hands with Chinese President Xi Jinping as U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer, left, and Chinese Vice Premier Liu He, right, look on before proceeding to their meeting at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, China February 15, 2019. (REUTERS)
Updated 16 February 2019
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China-US trade talks ‘making a final sprint’ — state media

  • US duties on $200 billion in imports from China are set to rise to 25 percent from 10 percent if there is no deal by March 1 to address US demands

SHANGHAI: Chinese state media on Saturday expressed cautious optimism over trade talks between the United States and China, a day after President Xi Jinping said a week of discussions had produced “step-by-step” progress.
Xi made the comments at a meeting on Friday with US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin in Beijing, after a week of senior- and deputy-level talks.
The People’s Daily, the official paper of the ruling Communist Party, said in a commentary that Xi’s meeting with US negotiators had affirmed progress made in previous talks and “injected new impetus into the next stage of the development of Sino-US trade relations.”
The talks “have made important progress” for the next round of negotiations in Washington next week, the paper said in its domestic edition.
“It is hoped that the two sides will maintain the good momentum of the current consultations and strive to reach an agreement within the set time limit,” it said.
US duties on $200 billion in imports from China are set to rise to 25 percent from 10 percent if there is no deal by March 1 to address US demands that China curb forced technology transfers and better enforce intellectual property rights.
In its overseas edition, the People’s Daily said “zero-sum thinking and games where you lose and I win can only create losses for both. Only on a basis of mutual respect and equal treatment, through dialogue and consultation, can we find a solution acceptable to both sides.”
An English-language editorial in the Global Times, which is published by the People’s Daily, said news that China had consulted on the text of a memorandum of understanding “shows the two sides have made unprecedented progress.”
“The MOU and next week’s talks both show that the seemingly endless China-US trade negotiations, like a marathon, are making a final sprint,” it said.
The newspapers cautioned that any agreement would have to be in the interests of both the United States and China.
“There are still obstacles to be overcome, and no one should underestimate how daunting a task the two sides face trying to resolve all the differences that have long existed between them in one clean sweep,” the official English-language China Daily said in an editorial.