ACCC nod for JCDecaux-APN, Adshel deals
Australia's competition watchdog has cleared the proposed acquisition of APN Outdoor by JCDecaux SA, as well as oOh!media's purchase of HT&E Ltd's bus stop advertising business Adshel.
The blessing by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission represents the final hurdle in the sale of Adshel, which is expected to close by the end of September, HT&E said in a statement.
Shares in oOh!media were up 4.1 per cent to $4.91, while HT&E jumped 14.3 per cent to $3.04 on the news that the regulator would not stand in the way of the deal in the fast consolidating market.
Australian advertiser Ooh!Media in June outbid rival suitor APN Outdoor for Adshel.
APN itself received a takeover offer from French advertiser JCDecaux, which struck a deal to buy the company with a sweetened $1.12 billion offer.
"We expect FIRB (Foreign Investment Review Board) and OIO (New Zealand Overseas Investment Office) approval to follow, ahead of a shareholder vote in October and implementation before the end of the year," APN Chief Executive James Warburton said in a statement.
If the remaining approvals come through, JCDecaux will become Australia's biggest outdoor ad firm, expanding its reach in a market where digital ad boards are delivering double-figure sales growth and "Out-of-Home" adverts reach 93 per cent of people in the top five cities.
APN Outdoor shares were up 5.8 per cent at $6.67.
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