APN sells outdoor advertising business

APN Outdoor digital billboard, Auckland City. Photo / Natalie Slade
APN Outdoor digital billboard, Auckland City. Photo / Natalie Slade

APN News & Media, which publishes the New Zealand Herald newspaper, has agreed to sell its stake in an outdoor advertising joint venture with Quadrant Private Equity for some A$69 million.

The deal will see APN sell its 48 per cent of APN Outdoor at a multiple of 7.5 times earnings, before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation, the media group said in a statement. The sale price is more than the A$51.6 million carrying value attributed to APN's stake in the joint venture as at June 30.

"APN is continuing as an active investor in the Australian outdoor advertising market through our 50 per cent interest in Adshel, reflecting our belief that small format will continue to be a strong segment in the outdoor market," chief executive Michael Miller said.

APN entered into the joint venture last year, selling a controlling 52 per cent stake to Quadrant for A$190 million, and generating net proceeds of A$174.2 million. The outdoor advertising unit has more than 50,000 panels across Australia and New Zealand, with formats ranging from digital and static roadside billboards to transit, rail and airport advertising.

The media group has been selling assets and clamping down on costs as it looks to return to profitability and reduce debt.

The deal is subject to regulatory approval by the Foreign Investor Review Board and Quadrant's debt funding arrangements.

APN shares, which are dual-listed, rose 2.1 per cent to 47 cents on the NZX today, before Australia's market opened.

- BusinessDesk

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