Decaux makes pounds 475m More bid

A merger between the outdoor companies, New Decaux and More Group, would lead to ’considerable strategic and commercial benefits for both businesses,’ a Decaux spokesman said as it made a pounds 475 million cash offer for More Group this week.

A merger between the outdoor companies, New Decaux and More Group,

would lead to ’considerable strategic and commercial benefits for both

businesses,’ a Decaux spokesman said as it made a pounds 475 million

cash offer for More Group this week.



But the proposed takeover - described by the chief executive of More,

Roger Parry, as ’a bolt from the blue’ - could come under scrutiny by

the competition authorities because of the concentration it would bring

in the street furniture market.



Although More Group has just over 20 per cent of the total outdoor

market and Decaux has only 3 per cent, the two account for almost 90 per

cent of the market for street furniture advertising.



With around 150,000 back-lit panels on street furniture sites, Decaux is

the largest street furniture advertising group in the world and believes

that merging with More Group would bring together Decaux’s strong

presence in continental European markets and More Group’s strong

business base in the UK and Scandinavia.



Parry said: ’It would save millions of pounds in operational costs, we

wouldn’t have to develop the products we have to in the cur-rent

competitive environment and there would be many job losses. It would

change the shape of the outdoor industry.’



The Decaux offer beats the recent pounds 446 million bid by the US-based

Clear Channel. However, the latter is now expected to come back with a

higher bid.



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