APN Outdoor has increased its bid for Here, There & Everywhere-owned Adshel by $40 million overnight.
Confirmed in an ASX release by APN Outdoor, the media owner has “submitted a revised proposal (the Proposal) to acquire 100 per cent of the Adshel businesses in Australia and New Zealand, from HT&E Limited (HT&E)”.
Adding “An acquisition of Adshel’s street furniture assets, combined with APN Outdoor’s transit and billboard platforms, represents an important strategic expansion for APN Outdoor.”
The move took place only hours after JCDecaux’s “unsolicited non-binding proposal” to acquire 100 per cent of APN Outdoor for $1.1 billion.
Responding to JCDecaux’s bid, APN Outdoor released a statement yesterday regarding JCDecaux’s terms for successfully acquiring APN Outdoor.
One of the stipulations was “a requirement that APO does not proceed to acquire Adshel”.
The bidding war between OOH competitor oOh!Media to acquire Adshel began earlier this year and seems to have now reached fever pitch.
In April, HT&E announced it had rejected an offer from oOh!media to acquire its out-of-home business, Adshel.
In late May, oOh!media submitted a revised confidential, non-binding offer on Monday 30 April parent HT&E, valuing Adshel at $470 million.
“Although the improved indicative offer has not to date been accepted by HT&E, OML remains ready to proceed with a period of exclusivity to undertake due diligence which may permit OML to submit a binding offer to Adshel,” it said.
“There is no certainty that the improved indicative offer will result in a transaction.”
APN Outdoor then bought a $500 million offer for Adshel to the bidding table.
After receiving oOh!media’s revised offer of $470 million for Adshel, HTE said in a statement to shareholders that it had received another offer, and that oOh!media’s wasn’t the “most attractive” one on the table.
“HT&E had offered to engage with [oOh!media] to enable it to more appropriately value Adshel so as to improve their price, including by providing further due diligence financial information subject to execution of a confidentiality agreement and on a non-executive basis,” the statement read.
At the exact same time, APN Outdoor released a statement on the ASX saying that it was in fact the company that had submitted an offer for Adshel, which it confirmed this morning was worth $500 million.
“Adshel’s street furniture business would provide an attractive compliment to [APN Outdoor]’s existing out-of-home product offering,” the statement read.
According to today’s statement regarding the $540 Adhsel bid, APN Outdoor said “The acquisition of Adshel would increase diversification across APN Outdoor’s out-of-home formats and provide a new platform for growth.
“Upon completion of the proposed acquisition, APN Outdoor would become a more diverse out-of-home media group combining its billboard and transit platforms with Adshel’s street furniture assets in Australia and New Zealand.
“APN Outdoor would expect to benefit from an increased audience reach and a diversified asset base across a number of out-of-home formats.”
APN Outdoor Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director, James Warburton added, “The acquisition of Adshel would represent an important step in our strategy to expand APN Outdoor, deliver new solutions and ideas to our advertisers and generate long-term, sustainable growth for our shareholders.
“There is an opportunity for us to use our expertise in large-scale digital developments to support the roll-out of digital across Adshel’s street furniture format, particularly in Australia.
“We expect this would enable us to bring digital to a broader range of advertisers and complement our existing product offering to those advertisers.
“The combination of Adshel and APN Outdoor also represents an opportunity to realise meaningful cost synergies through the rationalisation of duplication across management, sales and back office functions.”