Adshel poster sites and ad screens seen in NZ snapped up by oOh!media




oOh!media has won a bidding war to snap up Here, There & Everywhere's Adshel advertising business for $A570 million, beating rival suitor APN Outdoor.

An Adshel outdoor advertisement.

Source: Instagram: Adshel

oOh!media initially offered $A470 million for Adshel in April but the bid was rejected by HT&E and APN Outdoor subsequently made a $A500 million offer.

APN increased its offer to $A540 million in June - as APN itself became the subject of a $A1.1 billion acquisition offer from French advertising giant JCDecaux.

But, today, oOh!Media sealed a deal with a $A570 million all-cash offer.

oOh!media chief executive Brendon Cook says Adshel will complement its existing portfolio of 12,000 traditional and 8,000 digital signs across roadside, retail, airport, office towers, cafes and bars.

Adshel has a portfolio of more than 21,000 poster sites and 800 screens across Australia and New Zealand.

"The digitisation opportunity in the Adshel business is expected to provide a significant avenue for further growth beyond what has been achieved to date," Mr Cook said today.

oOh!media expects the acquisition to boost its underlying earnings by low double digits, thanks to cost savings and benefits from the deal worth $A15 million to $A18 million by 2020.

The acquisition, which still needs ACCC approval, will be funded by new debt and a $A329.9 million equity capital raising.

Around 72 million new oOh!media shares are expected to be issued, representing about 44 per cent of its current issued capital, at $A4.60 a share.

HT&E outgoing chairman Peter Cosgrove said the sale price was a "good result" for shareholders, which allows the company to focus on its national radio network, which boasts brands such as KISS, Pure Gold and iHeartRadio.

HT&E was called APN News and Media prior to a name change May, 2017.

The sale proceeds will go towards paying down HT&E's debt of $A195 million, a special dividend of around $A220 million with the remainder to fund an on-market buyback of up to 10 per cent of its shares.

HT&E - which has also kicked-off a review of its corporate costs given its focus on radio - said Mr Cosgrove will leave on June 30 after 14 years on the board, with Robert Kaye's temporarily filling in until a new chair is appointed.

This afternoon, HT&E shares were up 18 cents, or 7.3 per cent, at $A2.64, while oOh!media, which closed on Friday at $A5.35, is in a trading halt because of the capital raising.

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