Billboards For Sale

If Clear Channel Communications is sold, the buyer might choose to jettison its billboard division. If so, it already has a suitor in French competitor JCDecaux.

CCC has a market value of about $9 billion, according to the Wall Street Journal, and private-equity consortiums are lining up to buy it. The winner could hive off Clear Channel Outdoor Holdings to help compensate for the purchase price. Waiting in the wings is JCDecaux, which has already contacted two of the private-equity teams, the WSJ said.

“Combining Clear Channel [Outdoor] and JCDecaux would create one of the few global media companies in the world with a lot of potential growth,” company co-CEO Jean Francois Decaux, told the paper. “Of course we’re interested.”

JCDecaux is smaller than Clear Channel Outdoor, according to the WSJ, and the acquisition would likely require the company to buy the billboard division in cash and shares.

CCC’s outdoor division is a bright spot. Billboards and posters are typically not considered cash cows because of their low ad rates, but with newspaper and television ads declining, the old-fashioned advertising is now the fastest-growing ad market besides the Internet, the WSJ said.