Airport media owner Eye UK put up for sale

The UK arm of Eye, the airport media owner, is up for sale, after its parent group Ten Network Holdings agreed a deal to sell the global outdoor business Eye Corp to private equity-backed oOh!media.

Ten Network: parent company puts Eye UK up for sale
Ten Network: parent company puts Eye UK up for sale

Ten has confirmed it has agreed to sell Eye Corp, excluding onerous contracts worth around AUD $16m (£10.6m), to Outdoor Media Operations (OMO), owner of oOh!media, for up to AUD $145m (£96.1m).

The deal is subject to regulatory approval in Australia, which is expected to take around three months.

Australia-based OMO plans to sell the UK business, which sells outdoor ads in a number of UK airports including Gatwick, Stansted and Manchester, and the US business onto a third party.

In a statement Ten said it will assist OMO in attempts to sell the US and UK operations of Eye to appropriate third parties. If they are not sold in the agreed time Ten will reacquire them for "nominal consideration".

It is understood that Ten and OMO-backer Champ Private Equity have had initial conversations with potential buyers of the UK business, including digital outdoor specialist ECNlive.

Ten, which is predominantly a TV business, said it will have an economic exposure to the outcome of the sale of the US and UK operations and, until sold, the funding of those operations.

James Warburton, chief executive and managing director, Ten, said: "We are pleased with the outcome of the strategic review of Eye that was announced on March 19.

"Successful completion of the transaction with OMO will be good news for Ten.

"It will make our balance sheet stronger by further reducing debt and will give us additional opportunity to invest in the creative renewal of Ten’s television content."

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