French-based JC Decaux has recently become the world’s biggest poster media owner and it’s now saying publicly that it fancies buying CBS Outdoor, one of its biggest global rivals but now, apparently, no longer regarded as a ‘core business by CBS CEO Leslie Moonves.
Decaux, which more or less invented ‘street furniture’, bus shelters with ads and (sometimes) loos attached, is now the clear market leader in the UK following its bold decision to buy failed transport specialist Titan Outdoor out of administration.
Transport advertising in the UK has been the death of many outdoor companies including Maiden and then Titan because both companies made silly revenue guarantees to rail owner Network Rail which were promptly unhinged by downturns in the economy.
But Decaux has negotiated an almost fool-proof deal that guarantees most of its income before it has to divvi up the spoils with Network Rail.
CBS Outdoor (a division of Viacom before it merged with CBS a few years ago) is also a transport specialist, having most of the good sites (including groovy moving digital posters) on London Underground.
If Decaux could gets its mitts on CBS Outdoor, which operates across the world, it would be in an almost unchallengeable position in the global outdoor market.