JC Decaux withdraws from City of Sydney outdoor tender

International outdoor giant JC Decaux has refuted claims it is in pole position to secure the City of Sydney outdoor business, issuing a statement saying it is not pursuing the contract under the current terms.

JC Decaux street furniture and advertising in the Sydney CBD will be removed, regardless of who wins the contract

JC Decaux has held the contract since 1998, ahead of the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games, but the City of Sydney said the out-of-home industry, and the expectations of consumers and residents, had rapidly evolved since then. 

The City of Sydney launched the process in late 2017, calling for expressions of interest, however in July last year it went back to the drawing board amid a flurry of takeover bids in the outdoor industry.

At the time, the City of Sydney said JC Decaux’s bid to buy APN Outdoor and Ooh Media’s impending purchase of street furniture business Adshel was not behind the decision to return to the expressions of interest stage, instead suggesting it would enable those pitching for the business to bring a refined offering to the table and more adequately respond to the complex nature of the contract.

Both outdoor takeovers were approved by the competition watchdog last year, with the Adshel name since disappearing and its existing assets becoming branded as Commute By Ooh.

There has since been wide-spread speculation JC Decaux will once again secure the lucrative contract, with The Australian Financial Review reporting last week it was the “front runner”.

This, it seems, is news to JC Decaux.

“JC Decaux is surprised by this information and other related information which is inaccurate since JC Decaux has made the decision not to submit any bid proposal under the current contract terms,” the statement said.

Mumbrella understands that as APN Outdoor is now wholly owned by JC Decaux, the statement applies to both brands, and APN Outdoor is also no longer bidding for the contract.

JC Decaux declined to comment further.


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