JCDecaux riles rival with takeover hints
JCDecaux has ruffled a few feathers following co-chief executive Jean-FranÃ§ois Decaux’s claims the group might be able to buy the US operations of either CBS Outdoor or Clear Channel Outdoor this year.
A war of words has broken out between senior executives at two of the world’s biggest outdoor ad businesses, with Clear Channel Outdoor International chief executive William Eccleshare sending this rejoinder via the Financial Times: “I think this is pure speculation. After our recent debt restructuring Clear Channel is just as likely to buy Decaux as the other way round.”
And commenting on CBS, Eccleshare continued: “I doubt CBS would sell now when all the signs are for a further market snapback over the next three years. I suspect CBS are as bored as we are with hearing Decaux’s oft-repeated boasts of their intentions. Maybe it is indeed getting to the point of put-up or shut-up.”
Decaux (pictured) said it would be “a waste of time” responding to Eccleshare, before responding that Eccleshare was frustrated with the “ongoing underperformance” of his business.
Decaux’s comments reaffirm the company’s long-held ambition for a US acquisition, with JCDecaux currently the fourth-largest out-of-home advertising group in the territory.