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