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oOh!media slams report of management buyout

Outdoor advertising company oOh!media has rejected a report in The Australian newspaper that said the company may be the subject of a management buyout and be delisted from the Australian Stock Exchange (ASX).

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In a story headlined Buyout talk sign of the times for oOh!media, The Australian said: “Outdoor advertiser oOh!media could be the next to disappear from the ASX, with speculation of a management buyout.” The report said the billboard and sign operator had enlisted Macquarie Capital to help it find a private equity firm to back a buyout and delist it from the ASX.

brendon cook

     "Without any basis in fact:"
  Brendan Cook, CEO oOh!media

in response, oOh!media - owner of Sydney-based wide format print business Cactus Imaging - called a temporary pause to its ASX trading on Monday morning, before issuing a brief statement to address what it called "Media speculation."

“The article is without any basis in fact,” said CEO Brendon Cook.

“oOh!’s Board and Management confirm they have not received any proposal regarding a Management buyout nor are they in any discussions regarding a potential management buyout and has nothing to disclose.

“The company remains focussed on achieving organic growth by leveraging the reach and diversity of its product portfolio in the Out of Home media sector. oOh! is undertaking digital transformation, increasing efficiencies, enhancing products and offerings and maximising shareholder value creation by delivering long-term sustainable revenue and earnings growth.”

oOh!media has 30,000+ locations across Australia and New Zealand.

In a follow-up story titled oOh!Media rubbishes buyout rumour, The Australian noted: “The company's stock hit a four-year low of $2.29 last month in the wake of a 94.4 per cent fall in first-half profit, which it blamed on May's federal election and exceptionally weak market conditions. The company has ruled out an equity raising despite its net debt at June hitting $393.4 million - 2.7 times its underlying earnings. It spent $570 million to buy street furniture and rail specialist Adshel from Here There and Everywhere last year.”

The original article remains on The Australian website.