It was back in September 2008 that RBR-TVBR first reported on Rupert Murdoch’s disenchantment with investing in Russia. It has taken not quite three years, but News Corporation has finally managed to exit Russia – and Romania as well.
Back in 2008 News Corporation was negotiating to sell its outdoor advertising business in Eastern Europe to Paris—based outdoor giant JCDecaux. But the talks to sell News Outdoor to Decaux never got to a deal.
Now, after what was said to be months of negotiations, News Corporation announced that it has sold its 79% stake in News Outdoor Russia and News Outdoor Romania to a group of investors led by Moscow-based VTB Capital. The remaining 21% will continue to be held by the managers of the billboard businesses.
Terms were not disclosed, but Business Insider Moscow correspondent John Helmer reported that the price was $270 million – a far cry from the $1.65 billion that News Corp. had been seeking when it started the sale process back in 2008.
With the closing, News Corp. has nearly exited the outdoor advertising business worldwide. It’s only remaining billboard operation is News Outdoor Czech Republic. Presumably the company would be willing to sell that as well.