Decaux's Pull-Out from NewsCorp Deal Pleases Shareholders

16 October 2008

NEUILLY-SUR-SEINE, France: Shares in JCDecaux, the French-headquartered outdoor advertising giant, rallied robustly this week after the firm dropped its proposed acquisition of a stake in NewsCorp's 73%-owned Russian venture, News Outdoor.

Rupert Murdoch is reportedly eager to spread Newscorp's risk, after becoming "concerned" at the current Russian investment climate.

The cash – over $1 billion (€732.17m; £572.01m) had the deal gone through – would have helped fund Murdoch's ambition to expand his existing pay-TV operations in western Europe

And from JCD's viewpoint, the pact would have enabled it to leapfrog Clear Channel Outdoor to become the globe's largest outdoor advertising company by revenue.

The collapsed sale brought a glint to the rheumy eyes of those analysts who still have jobs: "The deal cancelation should help to a stock re-rating," said Laurent Marie an analyst European equity broker CA Cheuvreux, who reinstated his 'outperform' rating for JCD stock.

On the day of the announcement (Tuesday), JCD shares were trading up 4.2% at €14.1 after hitting +14% immediately after the market opened. 

Murdoch recently betrayed his twitchiness over the markets in Mother Russia: "We have great growing business there but ... This is purely me, I'm sorry, the more I read about investments in Russia, the less I like the feel of it."

JCDecaux likewise, it seems!

Data sourced from Wall Street Journal Online; additional content by WARC staff