More Group, the poster contractor in the midst of a take-over
battle, has acquired the regional poster contractor, Town & City, in a
move seen as a spoiling tactic designed to make a takeover less
Town & City has 48- and 96-sheet sites in the Granada, Tyne-Tees and
Central TV regions and made gross sales of pounds 7.5 million with
pre-tax profits of pounds 700,000 million in 1997.
More has paid a cash consideration of pounds 6.6 million for the
contractor and takes on a debt of pounds 700,000 million. Roger Parry,
More’s chief executive, said the deal would allow More to deliver a
better service to advertisers.
’The regional distribution of Town & City will bring value to More.’
Steve Wilson, the managing director of the poster buying specialist,
Blade, said: ’The Town & City stock is not a natural fit with More’s
existing business. More doesn’t have many 48-sheets, but this gives it a
48-sheet portfolio covering five TV regions.’
The acquisition increases More’s share of the UK outdoor market by
around 1.5 per cent and, according to its own figures, gives the
combined company around 26 per cent of the outdoor market.
The increased share could be significant as the trade and industry
secretary, Margaret Beckett, is to decide whether to refer to the
Monopolies and Mergers Commission the bid for More, which has been made
by the rival poster company, Decaux.