Clear Channel Outdoor Holdings is considering buying CBS’ billboard division, a deal that would boost sales at CCO by nearly two-thirds. A person familiar with the matter told Bloomberg that CBS was approached by bankers interested in finding buyers for the billboard unit and agreed to listen to proposals. “Everyone is going to be looking at it and sizing it up, seeing if there’s value to be had,” said Clear Channel Outdoor’s CEO William Eccleshare. The Wall Street Journal, citing unidentified people with knowledge of the operation, reported previously that CBS is asking $6 billion for the unit, but Eccleshare said he’d be surprised if anyone agreed to pay that much. A spokesman for CBS declined to comment on Eccleshare’s remark.
Clear Channel Outdoor has nearly 1 million ad displays in more than 40 countries. San Antonio-based Clear Channel Outdoor is controlled by Clear Channel Communications, the radio broadcaster owned by Bain Capital and Thomas H. Lee Partners. CBS Outdoor last year produced 13% of CBS’ total sales. The unit is the third-biggest after entertainment.
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