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APG|SGA: NZZ Invests into Swiss Out-of-Home

The booming out-of-home media remains a very attractive investment sector for publishing groups – the renowned NZZ newspaper group acquires a 25% stake in the Swiss OoH market leader APG. NZZ is acquiring the shares from APG major shareholders JC Decaux and Pargesa, who are subsequently reducing their shares.

APG|SGA – Switzerlands dominating OoH group – is getting a new anchor investor. The public traded company is currently controlled by JCDecaux and the Belgian financial investor Pargesa/CNP, holding combined 55% of all shares. The world’s largest outdoor advertising company and the Belgian financial investor announced in February that they were looking at selling their shares of APG.

The shareholders involved are now reporting a first partial sale: The NZZ publishing group (Neue Züricher Zeitung) is acquiring a 25% stake and will become a strategic shareholder in APG|SGA. A corresponding agreement has been signed between the parties. The shares will be acquired at a price of CHF 220 per share.

After completion of the transaction in the coming days, the NZZ will hold a 25% stake in the company, JCDecaux SE 16.44% and Pargesa Asset Management S.A. 13.86%.

Isabelle Welton, Chair of the Board of Directors of the NZZ, commented: “The NZZ is strategically focusing on its core business of journalism with a liberal compass, supported by revenue from subscriptions and advertising. With the transaction, the NZZ is participating in the growing business in advertising markets in the out-of-home sector. APG|SGA and NZZ are two premium brands that are firmly anchored in the Swiss market, each with a history of over a hundred years. We speak the same language and share the same core values; we stand for quality, relevance and the highest level of credibility. The increasing digitization of the advertising markets offers both NZZ and APG|SGA additional growth opportunities.”

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With NZZ, APG is gaining a new national anchor investor that stands for renowned quality journalism and is actively shaping the digitization and diversification of the media industry. With sales of CHF 250 million, the NZZ Group is smaller than APG|SGA (CHF 311 million).

It is noteworthy that after the takeover of Goldbach, Neo and Clearchannel by TX (TA Media), a publishing group has now also joined APG|SGA as an anchor investor. There is a lot of movement in the Swiss out-of-home market – number 3 LiveSystems also changed shareholders in 2021. In a highly controversial deal, the state-owned Swiss Post took over the OoH provider.