Maiden rivals circle its outdoor assets

Outdoor media owners are circling their rival Maiden, as the possibility of the company selling off its major assets increased after it failed to find a buyer for the business.

Maiden, the UK's fourth- biggest outdoor ad company in the UK, put itself up for sale in December after it breached banking covenants.

The deadline for bids expired last Friday, but the company said that all offers received "valued the company materially below the current share price".

Media experts have suggested Maiden will sell either its billboard or supermarket advertising division in a bid to secure the company's future.

There is also mounting speculation that Maiden's prized £700 million-plus contracts with National Rail will have to be re-tendered. This would spark a bidding war among the three other major players in the market: JCDecaux, Viacom Outdoor and Clear Channel.

Maiden's failure to find a buyer has seen its share price drop to 37p, down from £2.10 last year.

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