Outdoor advertising company JC Decaux has been accused of buying a stake in a rival company to prevent it from bidding for one of JC Decaux’s largest street furniture contracts.
Last week JC Decaux announced it had bought an 11.1 per cent stake in German-based Wall AG.
JC Decaux chairman and co-chief executive Jean-Francois Decaux added: “We are the right partner to help Wall develop its business.”
Wall AG’s private owners, founder Hans Wall and son Daniel, claim they were not consulted about the deal, despite impressions to the contrary given by Decaux.
In another twist, Decaux rival Clear Channel owns a 20 per cent stake in Wall.
Wall plans to take legal action against cash-strapped bank Bankgesellschaft Berlin, which sold its stake to JC Decaux. Wall’s chief financial operating officer Helge Mauritz says: “The bank did not inform us of its intentions.”
Mauritz believes Decaux’s street furniture contract for Hamburg will end this December and Decaux “was trying to stop us in our tracks”.
Decaux refused to elaborate on its previous statement.