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oOh! gets its hands on outdoor company Eye at the second asking

ooh mediaEmbattled Ten has agreed to sell its outdoor operation Eye to the owner of oOh! media for a reduced price.

Ten Network Holdings has previously agreed a deal with Champ Private Equity to sell Eye for around $145m.

Champ pulled out, but tonight, Ten announced that it agreed a new deal to sell for $113m. The deal includes $98m in cash with a further $15m to follow in three years.

However, the announcement said that Ten would still be responsible for “onerous contracts” which could cost it $16m.

Champ will also look to sell off Eye’s loss-making US and UK operations. If it is unable to do so, then Ten may have to take them back, it will also have to go on funding these operations in the meantime.

The announcement from Ten said that it would use the proceeds of the sale to ay down debt.

Ten shares are currently trading on the ASX at 28c, close to a historical low point for the company, giving it a market capitalisation of $402m.

In a separate statement oOh! claimed the deal marked “an exciting new era for the Australian out-of-home category that will not only change the face of the sector, but benefit advertisers and consumers”.

The Eye name will disappear for the media landscape, with all the assets branded as oOh!.

Designworks in Melbourne is handling a project to come up with a new logo and visual identity for the merged brands.

oOh!’s CEO Brendon Cook, said “Through this acquisition we will redefine the OOH category by not only making it easier to buy traditional outdoor advertising, but also by fast-tracking new technologies and mediums to more effectively reach targeted consumers wherever they are.

“This is a sector that does not suffer from declining audiences and the rapidly changing technology is our friend.

“Through continued investment and defining new consumer connections for our clients, we will be better able to attack the 96 percent of spend currently shared by other mediums.”

Assuming the deal is finalised tomorrow (Thursday) oOh!’s products will include, more than 4,000 roadside billboards, 10,000 retail faces and 1,000 airport panels.

Cook will run the company from oOh!’s head office in North Sydney. Eye staff will transfer from Ten’s offices in Pyrmont.

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