Ooh Media completes $570m acquisition of Adshel

Australian outdoor operator Ooh Media has officially bought Here, There and Everywhere’s Adshel for $570m. In a note on the ASX this afternoon, both Ooh Media and HT&E confirmed the sale had been completed.

From today, Ooh Media will implement its integration strategy for the Adshel business. Plans include the removal of the Adshel brand, which is owned by Clear Channel International, and replacing it with Ooh Media branding before the end of the year.

The Adshel brand is set to be gone by the end of the year

As a result of the sale, HT&E will be delivering a special dividend to shareholders, at 72 cents per share. It is only applicable for those registered as a security holder of shares by the record date on October 8.

Brendon Cook, CEO of Ooh Media, said the completion was a ‘turning point’ for the outdoor industry.

“We are pleased to have successfully completed the acquisition of Adshel and look forward to welcoming the Adshel team and businesses into Ooh Media,” Cook said.

“Adshel’s portfolio and operations are highly complementary to our business and we remain excited to be entering into the new segments of street furniture and rail in Sydney and Melbourne.

“We also look forward to fast-tracking innovation across our entire network to further build engagement with audiences to make our offering more compelling for advertisers and attract new revenue currently being spent with other media.”

The announcement Ooh Media would acquire Adshel was first confirmed in June this year, after a bidding battle between Adshel, Ooh Media and APN Outdoor respectively. Once confirmed, Ooh Media’s Cook said “cost synergies” between $15m-$18m were set to occur, in order to avoid duplication and reduce outsourcing costs.

Ooh Media’s successful acquisition of Adshel comes after almost two years after APN Outdoor and Ooh Media announced their intentions to merge. At the time, the companies explained the motivation behind the decision was to create a “long-term and diversified asset base across classic, digital and online formats”. The plans to merge were cancelled following concerns from the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC).

Just over two years ago, Ooh Media also bought 85% of youth-orientated publisher Junkee Media for $11.05m.

Around the same time, APN News & Media – which until now owned Adshel, digital publisher Conversant Media, and Australian Radio Network (ARN) – rebranded to Here There & Everywhere.

At one time APN News & Media owned APN Outdoor, but it sold 100% of its shares in 2013.

APN Outdoor and French outdoor behemoth JC Decaux are currently waiting on final approval to merger businesses.

Both mergers were cleared by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission a month ago. JC Decaux and APN Outdoor is still waiting on approval from APN shareholders, the courts and the New Zealand Overseas Investment Office. This week it was cleared by the Foreign Investment Review Board (FIRB).

The acquisition comes as the City of Sydney tender progresses to the next stage. Mumbrella understands Adshel is involved in the next stage of the process, as well as APN Outdoor and incumbent JC Decaux.


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