Posts Tagged ‘APN’

  • JCDecaux to pay $1.2b for APN Outdoor

    JCDecaux street screen at Pitt St Mall, Sydney.

    In the outdoor advertising industry’s second major consolidation deal in 24 hours, French giant JCDecaux has agreed to pay $1.2 billion to buy APN Outdoor, one of the two biggest players in the local market.

    On Monday, rival oOh!media signed a $570 million deal to acquire HT&E’s outdoor business Adshel.

    In a flurry of activity over the past week, APN had lobbed its own bid for Adshel before JCDecaux stepped in with an offer to buy APN – on condition it did not continue its bid for Adshel.

    ‘A significant milestone’: JCDecaux co-CEO Jean-Francois Decaux.

    JCDecaux co-chief executive offer Jean-Francois Decaux said on Tuesday the agreement was a significant milestone for the global company.

    “APN Outdoor is very complementary to our existing street furniture assets and through this acquisition, JCDecaux will be attractively positioned to provide a compelling proposition to compete more effectively in the Australian media market where Out-of-Home accounts for 6 per cent of advertising spend, of which almost 50 per cent is digital.”  Decaux said he was also “delighted” to be entering the “fast-growing” New Zealand market.

    APN chief executive and MD James Warburton told the ASX that the agreement was an “excellent outcome” for shareholders, partners and the company’s 13,000 employees. “JCDecaux is a leading global out-of-home company with more than one million advertising panels in more than 80 countries, more than 13,000 employees and 2017 revenue of 3,493 million.”

    oOh!media CEO Brendon Cook told Print21 the Adshel deal would provide significant opportunities for growth.

    “The acquisition gives us the opportunity to provide our advertisers with a comprehensive Out Of Home offering as it adds transit and street furniture to our already diverse portfolio. It also opens up opportunities new local government opportunities.  One of the requirements of local government is you have a strong operational capability to manage and service the street furniture assets – this acquisition give us that capability.”

     The deal requires oOh!media to stop using the Adshel brand within three months.

    HT&E chairman Peter Cosgrove announced his retirement after the agreement was announced.  “The company is at a pivotal point,” he said. “The divestment of Adshel is a good result for shareholders and provides a number of strong capital management initiatives to further strengthen the business.”

    Both deals are subject to approval by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC). JCDecaux’s acquisition of APN Outdoor must also go before the Foreign Investment Review Board and the New Zealand Overseas Investment Office.

    According to researcher IBISWorld, APN Outdoor and oOh!Media are the two biggest companies in the billboards and outdoor advertising market in Australia.

    Last year, the ACCC blocked an attempted merger between the two market leaders.

  • APN looks at offloading outdoor media

    APN News & Media may trade in its outdoor media stake in the local market in exchange for greater radio reach, with the company considering selling off its half-share in its outdoor advertising business in a bid to pay down debt.

    According to a report in The Australian Financial Review this week, the trans-Tasman media company is looking at a major restructure that could see it sell out of its Adshel and other outdoor advertising divisions in exchange for full control over its radio business.

    The move, which is one of several options being considered by APN’s new chief executive Michael Miller (pictured), is likely to see the company’s extensive print portfolio lose much of its large format production footprint.

    The company has been at pains to reduce its debt levels since February’s boardroom battle, which saw the sudden resignation of former CEO, Brett Chenoweth and former chairman, Peter Hunt along with five other directors.

    In late February, the company told investors it would continue with its debt reduction strategy by selling off assets. In a statement to shareholders, the company said:

    APN will reduce debt by a further $40-50 million in 2013. This will be delivered by organic earnings including the cost reduction program in publishing, as well as small asset and property sales.

    The company reduced its debt by $180m during 2012. This was achieved through asset sales, the formation of the APN Outdoor joint venture and a focus on cash management. Reducing APN’s debt levels is an ongoing objective.

    The announcement followed moves to reclaim cash with the proposed sell-off of its Christchurch, Oamaru and Wellington publishing businesses in NZ.

    In its financial year presentation to shareholders, the company said it would continue with its program in the NZ Media business, which included the proposed consolidation of printing operations to a single company owned plant.

    Earlier this year, the company posted a net loss of A$-456 million for the financial year ending 2012, a 13 per cent slump in revenue from the previous year.

    Although APN is considering offloading its outdoor media business – and large format printing capacity along with it – the company’s new chairman, Peter Cosgrove, is backing print.

    In April, he told investors that, despite poor results from its print media divisions, the company remained committed to its print media.

    In a statement, he said:

    “APN believes there is a strong future in regional newspapers to provide local news to local communities and our strategy will be clearly focused on meeting this need for our readers and advertisers.”

  • Beacon Media Group picks up major APN print contract

    New Zealand publisher, the Beacon Media Group, is taking on a major newspaper printing contract with APN News & Media, following the trans-Tasman media company’s decision to outsource its print production in the lower North Island. 

    The deal will see the Beacon will print over 500,000 lower North Island daily and community newspapers every week from later this year.

    The company, which is privately owned by the Spring family, has had a presence in Whakatane since 1939 and owns newspaper, commercial and digital printing and web offset printing businesses in the Bay of Plenty and Waikato.

    Under the agreement Beacon will buy some APN printing equipment and set up a new site in Hastings.
Beacon Media Group chief executive Simon Ellis (pictured) said the expansion was a significant development for the company and it looked forward to working closely with APN.

    “In addition, we expect this will also see more growth in our Whakatane newspaper printing plant,” he said.

    Martin Simons, APN New Zealand chief executive, said the decision to outsource its printing requirements in the lower North Island would simplify the company’s ‘back office’ functions.

    According to Simons, the move would create a more infrastructure-light publishing model focusing on delivering the best content to meet changing customer needs, and on advertising sales.

    Simons said APN had a track record of establishing successful partnerships with service providers that included print services, and in other areas, such as subediting and advertising production.

    The company has already outsourced printing for its glossy magazines, including the New Zealand Women’s Weekly and the Listener, consolidating its upper North Island printing at Ellerslie.

    The APN publications to be printed by the Beacon group are: CHB Mail, Dannevirke Evening News, Entertainment Extra, Hawke’s Bay Today, HB Drivetime, Taupo Weekender, The Hastings Leader, The Napier Courier, Village Press, Bush Telegraph, Wairarapa Times Age, Horowhenua Chronicle, Masterton Your Property, Stratford Press, Wanganui Chronicle, Wanganui Midweek and the Wairarapa Times Age Midweek. 

    The deal is a boon for the Beacon Media Group, which has made significant investment over the past 12 months, with new premises established for its businesses in Rotorua (Dudfield Bryce Printers) and Morrinsville (Arrow Printing).

    The deal with Beacon comes as APN works to consolidate its NZ print footprint. Earlier in the year, APN made moves to reclaim some cash with the proposed sell-off of its Christchurch, Oamaru and Wellington publishing businesses in NZ.

    In its financial year presentation to shareholders, the company said it would continue with its program in the NZ Media business, which included the proposed consolidation of printing operations to a single company owned plant.

  • SWUG takes to the tropics for 2013 conference

    The Single Width Users Group (SWUG) is heading into the tropics for next year’s annual SWUG conference, which will be held at APN Print’s four-year old newspaper print facility in Rockhampton.

    Located just inside the Tropic of Capricorn, this will be the furthest north that the SWUG conference has travelled in Australia since visiting Mackay in 1992. Last year the conference was held at the Brisbane Exhibition Centre.

    Accommodation and conference sessions will be held at the Mercure Capricorn Resort on the Capricornia coast at Yeppoon, and the host site for the conference is APN Print in Rockhampton, which was opened four years ago in a purpose-built facility. It is home to a single width six-tower and two folder Manugraph Cityline press capable of producing 48-pages tabloid of back-to-back colour at 35,000 copies per hour.

    In fact, this conference will be the first to be hosted by a print site boasting a Manugraph press – one of only three in the country.

    Bob Lockley, SWUG president, says that the tropical destination represents a great holiday destination for SWUG members, and should help entice conference punters to travel north for the event.

    “Queensland is always a popular destination for delegates and the Capricorn Resort is an ideal venue, so make a note of the dates and book early,” says Lockley.

    The APN site itself will also provide a comprehensive setting for the conference, featuring an Agfa Polaris and a Krause LS Eco Jet CTP plate-setter, and two Müller Martini Alphaliner inserting lines capable of putting up to 8 inserts into newspapers at up to 17,000 copies per hour, in addition to its Manugraph Cityline.

    The site prints the six-day-a-week Rockhampton Morning Bulletin, which celebrated its 150th birthday last year as well as the dailies, Mackay Daily Mercury and the Gladstone Observer. Other newspapers produced at the site include the Rocky Mirror, Capricorn Coast Mirror, The Blackwater Herald, CQ News, and Central Telegraph.

    “This will be a unique experience for SWUG delegates at one of the most up-to-date single width sites in the country,” says Lockley.

    For Lockley, the event is designed not only to showcase some of the country’s top newspaper print equipment, but also highlight the strength of the sector’s apprentices.

    “It is important too that we continue to recognise the talent and hard work of our apprentices by entering them into the award and encouraging them to attend the conference,” says Lockley. “This is a great opportunity for them to learn more about the newspaper industry and to further their careers.”

    To this end, the traditional Sunday night gala dinner at the SWUG conference will also see the presentation of the annual SWUG Awards for Technical Excellence as well as the annual Apprentice of the Year award.

    The event will be held from Friday 22 March to Sunday 24 March 2013 at the Mercure Capricorn Resort on the Capricornia coast at Yeppoon. The closing date for all entries in the awards is 18 February 2013.

    Click here for more information.

  • The winds of change – 1 August 2012

    New chairman for APN

    APN News & Media this week announced the appointment of Peter Hunt as a director of the company and as chairman of the board, effective from 3 September.

    Hunt (pictured), who is non-executive chairman and a founder of corporate advisory firm, Greenhill Caliburn, has spent nearly 30 years advising local and multi-national companies and governments within Australia. While with Greenhill Caliburn, Hunt advised APN’s acquisition of Wilson & Horton, previous publisher of the New Zealand Herald.

    Hunt said he was pleased to have the opportunity to join APN during a period of important business transformation and growth.

    “It is both an exciting and challenging time to be involved in a diverse media company like APN,” he said, “and I look forward to working with my fellow board members, Brett [Chenoweth, CEO] and his senior management team to execute on its strategic goals.”

    The company’s deputy chairman, Ted Harris, said, “Peter is the ideal chairman for APN’s next phase of growth. His expertise in successfully guiding companies through complex change is outstanding.”

    New Sensis MD from News Ltd ranks

    John Allan (pictured), former Chief Operating Officer of News Limited’s The Australian newspaper has been named as the new managing director of Sensis, Telstra’s directories arm, which produces Yellow Pages and White Pages.

    In a statement to staff, Rick Ellis, Telstra Media’s group managing director, said, “John joins Sensis at a critical juncture as we work to make Sensis Australia’s leading directories and digital marketing services business. His brief will be to deliver on our long term digital strategy, as well as our program to step up simplification of the Sensis business and accelerate digital growth, setting the business on course for success in the digital age.

    “I am delighted to have an executive of John’s extensive experience in traditional and digital media, and a directories business, to lead Sensis. Digital media is transforming at an astonishing rate and John has been at the leading edge of driving businesses for success in that world,” he said.

    Allan will replace former MD, Bruce Akhurst, who left the company in March this year after seven years in charge. Allan will start in the new role will on 6 August.