France business looking to strengthen its leadership position in the outdoor advertising market under local ownership
Clear Channel Outdoor Holdings, Inc. (NYSE: CCO) (the “Company”) today announced that it has signed a share purchase agreement to sell its business in France to Equinox Industries (“Equinox”), a Paris-based industrial holding company that makes long-term majority equity investments. Equinox’s Managing Partners, Charles-Henri Rossignol and Thibaud Caulier, have more than 20 years of investing and operating experience. In addition, Didier Quillot, Equinox’s Senior Advisor, would participate alongside Equinox Industries in the proposed transaction and would be appointed Non-Executive Chairman of Clear Channel France upon completion.
“We are excited by this potential opportunity to grow Clear Channel France’s established position and experienced leadership in the French outdoor advertising space,” said Messrs. Rossignol and Caulier. “We see enormous potential for Clear Channel France over the coming years by accelerating investments in digital, programmatic and other tools, forging new partnerships and empowering management to be nimble and innovative to grow share. Subject to completion of the transaction, we look forward to continuing to build on management’s vision for the business and leverage our complementary platform, capital and expertise to return this business to a path of growth and long-term success.”
“This transaction is another positive step forward in our ongoing review of strategic alternatives for our European businesses and would further enable us to advance our strategic priorities in our America and Airports segments. At the same time, it positions the Clear Channel France business and its team to operate with greater agility and autonomy in the French market under local, long-term owners,” added Scott Wells, Chief Executive Officer of Clear Channel Outdoor Holdings, Inc. “Upon completion of this transaction, we will have divested or agreed to divest all of our Europe-South segment operations, a significant step toward our goal of optimizing our portfolio in the best interests of our shareholders.”
In the proposed transaction, Equinox would acquire full ownership of Clear Channel France, which achieved turnover of EUR 245 million in the year ended December 31, 2022 and has approximately 800 employees. As consideration for the transaction, the Company would deliver Clear Channel France to Equinox Industries at closing with approximately EUR 42 million of cash, subject to adjustment for related customary items, tax and other costs, to support ongoing operations of the business, and Equinox Industries would maintain the approximately EUR 30 million state-guaranteed loan held by Clear Channel France.
The Company duly informed and consulted the French employee works council. The parties are aiming to complete the transaction in the coming weeks, subject to satisfaction of customary closing conditions. The transaction is not subject to regulatory approval.