JCDecaux to acquire APN Outdoor Group Ltd (ASX:APO) for $1.2 billion


APN Outdoor Group Ltd (ASX: APO) has received a higher offer of $6.70 per share from JCDecaux, which gives APN Outdoor an enterprise value of $1.2 billion. The offer represents an 18% premium to the ‘undisturbed’ closing share price of $5.68 a week ago.

Last week the offer for APN Outdoor was $6.52 per share and now an increase of 2.8% appears to have sealed the deal. It has entered into a scheme implementation deed with JCDecaux.

The APN Outdoor Board said it intends to declare a fully franked special dividend of up to $0.30 per share just before the takeover. This dividend will have up to $0.13 per share in franking credits attached. The offer per share would be reduced by cash amount of the dividend. This is a good way of unlocking the franking credits for shareholders.

There is still no ultimate guarantee that the offer will go through because the ACCC, Australian Foreign Investment Review Board (FIRB) and New Zealand Overseas Investment Office (OIO) will still need to approve the deal.

However, the APN Outdoor Board has unanimously decided to recommend the proposal.

The APN Outdoor CEO and Managing Director James Warburton said “The recommended acquisition of APN Outdoor by JCDecaux represents an excellent outcome for our shareholders, staff and partners.

“JCDecaux’s proposal is testament to the position APN Outdoor holds in the Australian and New Zealand media sectors and our recent strong performance, winning and retaining key new contracts.

“The Scheme is great news for APN Outdoor staff, JCDecaux is a leading global out-of-home company, with more than 1 million advertising panels in more than 80 countries, more than 13,000 employees and 2017 revenue of €3,493 million.”

Foolish takeaway

It’s good for APN shareholders that the Board was able to get a bit of a higher offer for the shares, but I still think that the company could have gotten even more. If I owned shares I’d consider selling now and moving onto new investments.