Havas looks to sell Mills & Allen

Mills & Allen has admitted it is up for sale, confirming speculation that the poster company’s French owner, Havas, has been secretly talking to buyers.

Mills & Allen has admitted it is up for sale, confirming

speculation that the poster company’s French owner, Havas, has been

secretly talking to buyers.



M&A, which has around 18 per cent of the UK market, will be sold as part

of Avenir, a group covering all Havas’s European roadside poster

interests in nine countries.



Havas is also likely to sell its airport advertising company, Sky

Sites.



Both sales are planned to help offset costs recently incurred by Havas

when it bought the US electronic publishing company, Cendant

Software.



David Pugh, M&A’s chief executive, confirmed the group was up for sale,

and added that a management buyout was not an option in the UK. His

admission follows reports that secret talks between the American-owned

TDI and Havas about a possible purchase had fallen through.



Other media companies said to be interested in M&A include the US-owned

Clear Channel. However, it is unclear whether such a purchase would be

allowed in the UK because Clear Channel owns a rival poster company,

More Group.



The news that the poster interests were up for sale came during an

announcement made in Paris by Havas in the wake of its acquisition of

Cendant.



The announcement stated that ’after consultation with the appropriate

labour organisations, Havas is envisaging the sale of its billboard

advertising activities. Havas will then be focused on its two core

activities of publishing and multimedia.’



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