Bell Media has unveiled a deal to buy U.S.-based Outfront Media’s Canadian outdoor advertising assets for $410 million in cash.
The deal, expected to be completed in 2024, will see New York-based Outfront Media, formerly CBS Outdoor, sell off its billboard assets in Canada to bolster its American business. “The sale of our Canadian business highlights the value of our assets and will provide us with additional financial flexibility as we focus on our U.S. assets,” Jeremy Male, chairman and CEO of Outfront Media, said in a statement on Monday.
Outfront Media has around 9,325 displays in Canada, including digital and physical billboards, bus, bench and other out-of-home ad platforms, as of the end of 2022. Toronto-based Bell Media in 2013 acquired rival Astral Media, which included an outdoor advertising operation to rival that of Outfront Media’s presence in Canada.
Now the Canadian outdoor advertising landscape is consolidating as local linear TV networks, including Bell Media’s CTV brand, come under pressure as ad dollars increasingly go online.
Stewart Johnston, senior vp of sales and sports at Bell Media, added the company’s out of home advertising business has become an increasingly key mass reach advertising vehicle for the Canadian media giant, given its greater targeting capabilities.
“Outfront’s diverse array of Canadian assets reinforces Astral’s dedication to delivering impactful, multi-channel marketing solutions, while accelerating Bell Media’s digital strategy. The synergy between Outfront’s established expertise and our commitment to driving innovation will provide clients with tremendous opportunities on a true coast-to-coast footprint,” Johnston added.