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Quadrant to buy outdoor advertiser QMS Media

Private equity firm Quadrant is acquiring out of home media company QMS in a deal worth $420 million. The agreement is subject to approval from QMS Media shareholders, the Australian Foreign Investment Review Board (FIRB) and the New Zealand Overseas Investment Office (OIO). Meanwhile, The Australian newspaper reported that Quadrant’s plan to buy QMS Media could be "thrown up in the air by rumoured new private equity bids."

QMS Sports
  QMS Sports advertising

ASX-listed QMS went into a trading halt on Friday amid reports that a mystery buyer was circling the business. In an announcement to the ASX on Tuesday morning, QMS said:

QMS Media has entered into a Scheme Implementation Deed with Quadrant under which Quadrant will acquire 100% of the issued share capital of QMS Media for a cash price of $1.22 per share by way of a court-approved scheme of arrangement.

The Scheme Consideration of $1.22 per share values QMS Media equity at approximately $420.6 million, and at an enterprise value of $571.6 million.

 Subject to QMS Board approval, QMS Shareholders will also be entitled to a final dividend of up to 1.3 cents for the financial year ending 31 December 2019. QMS Media’s Board of Directors have unanimously recommended that QMS Media shareholders vote in favour of the Scheme.

Chairman Wayne Stevenson, said: “Having fully considered a range of strategic alternatives in relation to some or all parts of the QMS business, including the receipt of an unsolicited proposal from Quadrant, the Board believes this offer allows QMS shareholders to realise significant value for their shares.”

QMS Media CEO Barclay Nettlefold said: “The recommended acquisition of QMS by Quadrant represents an excellent outcome for our shareholders, partners and employees. It is a testament to our sustained growth in a challenging market, and our continued market leading digital revenue contribution, led by our strong and experienced executive management team.”

Quadrant Private Equity Partner Jonathon Pearce added: “We are delighted to have an opportunity to partner with Barclay and his experienced team. QMS has a proven track record of delivering sustainable growth. Under Barclay’s continued leadership and with Quadrant providing additional capital, we believe the business will continue to grow and deliver innovative market leading solutions to customers across the Australia & New Zealand Media and Global Sports divisions.”

The implementation of the Scheme is subject to a number of conditions, including approval of QMS Media shareholders, the Federal Court of Australia, ASIC, ASX, FIRB and OIO.

Shareholders will have the opportunity to vote on the Scheme at court-convened shareholder meetings of the class of shareholders to which they belong. Subject to shareholder approval being obtained by the requisite majorities and the other conditions of the Scheme being satisfied, the Scheme is expected to be implemented in the first quarter of CY2020 (this timing is indicative and subject to change).

Following Tuesday's ASX announcement, The Australian reported that Quadrant’s plans to buy QMS media could be "thrown up in the air by rumoured new private equity bids."  

QMS is a leading outdoor media company in Australia, New Zealand and Indonesia, specializing in premium landmark digital and static billboards, street furniture, and sport, airport and transit media. The company has three business segments - QMS Australia, Mediaworks and QMS Sport.

Quadrant Private Equity is a private equity firm investing in companies in Australia and New Zealand. Since inception in 1996, Quadrant has raised in excess of $5 billion from 10 funds. To date, Quadrant has completed 71 investments across sectors including retail, healthcare, media, consumer foods and financial services. Quadrant’s investors include Australian and global superannuation funds, investment funds and sovereign wealth funds.