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CNBC Exclusive: JCDecaux Interested in Assets of Clear Channel and CBS

By CNBC.com
Wednesday, 14 Mar 2007 | 6:59 AM ET

French outdoor advertising company JCDecaux is interested in buying assets of the outdoor advertising business of U.S. media giants Clear Channel and CBS .

"We are interested in assets of both Clear Channel and CBS should they become available," Jean-François Decaux, co-CEO of JCDecaux, told “Squawk Box Europe” on Wednesday.

JCDecaux is the world’s second-largest outdoor advertising company behind Clear Channel and before CBS Outdoor. The three companies together have a combined market share of the worldwide outdoor advertising market of about 30%.

JCDecaux Outlook
JCDecaux, the French outdoor advertising company, is interested in buying assets of the outdoor advertising business of U.S. media giants Clear Channel and CBS. Jean-Fran??ois Decaux, Co-CEO of JC Decaux, speaks to CNBC's Geoff Cutmore about the company's plans.

"We see some further consolidation down the road,” Decaux said. "CBS is a multimedia company, trading at a discount versus Decaux as a pure play, and it is very clear that the pure-play media business has outperformed the multimedia."

"There is no case for bundling media for selling outdoor with radio and television," he said. "You have to give a bigger discount to the clients."

Clear Channel is holding a shareholder meeting on March 21 to vote on an $18.7 billion buyout offer from private equity Bain Capital Partners and Thomas H. Lee Partners.

JCDecaux also said Wednesday that full-year profit rose 4.1% after the company benefited from earnings at recently acquired businesses and it won more market share.

Net income rose to 201.1 million euros ($269.1 million) from 193.2 million euros in the previous year, the company said in a statement. Sales rose 12% to 1.9 billion euros ($2.5 billion).

The company expects sales growth to continue at a similar rate in 2007.

"Market share gains in most of our core European operations and an increasing contribution from our more recently developed geographies combined to drive a strong increase in both organic revenues and operating margin," Chairman Jean-Charles Decaux said.

JCDecaux shares dipped 1% to 22.14 euros ($29.20) in Paris.

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