Yesterday, we posted about the ‘potential’ of JCDecaux considering an offer to Clear Channel Outdoor.
Since publishing the brief account from Bloomberg, we received two separate phone calls, from two senior people in different organizations, sharing knowledge of an additional 2 companies in the hunt. They told us under the condition of anonymity. We will honor their request to remain nameless, as well as, for now, the companies they identified.
We can say, one of the companies comes as no surprise as a potential suitor, while the other is totally unexpected. Unexpected that is, until you consider they have the dollars and staffing/sales infrastructure to make a successful bid and knowing the personal and current status of the organization, will very likely find success in the investment. It is one I did not see coming. So the plot of a sea change in OOH, thickens. Or, it could be a lot of talk and no one buys Clear Channel as they find other financial footing.
the plot of a sea change in OOH, thickens.
Both ‘deep throats’, think Watergate, are not ‘G-Men’, Mark Felt types, are trusted sources and intimately knowledgeable of the Outdoor Advertising Industry’s comings and goings. We hope they will give us a green light to share soon, so we may share with you.
In the meantime, late yesterday afternoon, The Wall Street Journal, published an article written by Nina Trentmann, regarding JCDecaux’s interest in “bidding for one of its U.S.competitors.” The Decaux source, Chief Financial and Administrative Officer, David Bourg, indicated they have been “monitoring both Clear Channel and Outfront Media for years.” On Monday, Bourg, in an interview with CFO Journal said, “The change in the U.S. tax rate and the stronger euro makes it more attractive for us to pursue such a deal.” “The opportunity could come sooner than later.”
According to the Journal, “The French company holds around 5% of the U.S. market share, compared to the roughly 15% held by both Clear Channel and Outfront Media. CFAO Bourg stated, “This [deal] could help us to immediately get to scale in the U.S”.
“This [deal] could help us to immediately get to scale in the U.S”.
Bourg, whose bio lists his principal responsibilities lie with merger & acquisition projects, went on to detail how the company would raise the capital to finance and the necessary conditions required by the Decaux family, including continued majority of the company’s stock.
It would be very curious to see what the character of Out of Home in the U.S. would be, with another ‘family owned’ or managed company, as is the case with Lamar Advertising. Imagine the impact it might have on nearly every aspect and everyone in the Industry. Large and small. Direct and indirect.