JC Decaux to focus on winning City of Sydney before making acquisitions

Acquisitions of other Australian out of home media companies are not off the cards, but JC Decaux’s priority will be winning the City of Sydney tender and focusing on recent contract wins with Telstra and Yarra Trams.

JC Decaux chairman and co-CEO Jean-Francois Decaux told Mumbrella in an interview today acquisitions are not the agenda “for the time being”, as the immediate focus would be on what the company’s upcoming and new contracts.

Decaux launched JC Decaux in Australia in 1997, ahead of the 2000 Sydney Olympic Games

This week, JC Decaux officially announced its win of the Yarra Trams contract – which has now expanded, as well as a revamp of Telstra’s payphones as part of a new partnership with the telco revealed by the Australian Financial Review this morning.

His comments follow speculation of a potential merger between APN Outdoor and the French out of home giant.

“I’m not excluding anything but for the time being the team is going to be very busy with Melbourne and also Telstra which we announced,” Decaux said.

Steve O’Connor, JC Decaux Australia, reaffirmed Decaux’s position: “We have to win Sydney – number one. And we have to bed down these contracts we’ve just won. For the foreseeable future, our focus is going to be on what we’ve got. Which is very significant.”

But while Decaux and O’Connor said the plan is to be re-appointed to the City of Sydney out of home contract – which is inarguably one of the biggest in Australia – Decaux admitted the scope of the tender is still not clear.

O’Connor focused on what the company does best – out of home

JC Decaux first entered the Australia market in 1997, ahead of the Olympic Games – and built the out of home furniture from the ground up.

“Back 20 years ago, it was a complete new build including news stands, flower stalls,” Decaux explained.

“We don’t know yet whether the City of Sydney will ask for a complete rebuild, because the street furniture looks as good as it did 20 years ago. It’s part of the cityscape, and the city will have to make a decision of do they want more money, in which case keeping the furniture in place would be the best option, because we could give them more money, rather than changing everything that doesn’t maybe need to be changed.

“But whoever gets the contract will have to invest a significant amount of money and therefore will not be in a position to maximise money – cash – for the city. I think it will be in the best interests of the city to ask for both options so that at the end of the day, the elected officials can make the decision.

“Now the ball is in the court of the City of Sydney – what they are going to do we don’t know.”


Get the latest media and marketing industry news (and views) direct to your inbox.

Sign up to the free Mumbrella newsletter now.



Sign up to our free daily update to get the latest in media and marketing.