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JCDecaux, News Outdoor still in takeover talks

JCDecaux is still in talks with Rupert Murdoch’s News Corporation concerning a possible takeover of its Russian outdoor-advertising subsidiary News Outdoor, according to reports.

Despite the current economic crisis, News Outdoor “remains a quality asset”, said JCDecaux’s co-chief executive Jean Charles Decaux this week. His company is currently performing due diligence, Decaux added.

The deal, which would most likely create the world’s largest outdoor-advertising firm, was seen as worth more than $1bn when news of it first emerged a month ago – but uncertainty over the impact of economic conditions on advertising could push that price down.

Decaux was also bullish on JCDecaux’s outlook for the rest of 2008, sticking to the firm’s earlier guidance of six to seven percent sales growth. First-half growth was 9.5 percent but the company had expected a second-half slowdown, Decaux said.

The company expects a tough 2009 and an easier 2010, Decaux added.

www.jcdecaux.com

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