Clear Channel Outdoor Holdings Initiates Review of Strategic Alternatives for European Business; Announces Improved Q4 2021 Guidance
Clear Channel Outdoor Holdings, Inc. announced that its Board of Directors has authorized a review of strategic alternatives for its European business, including a possible sale.
“We have been transparent about our continued evaluation of disposition opportunities that are both in line with our strategic goals and in the best interests of our shareholders,” said William Eccleshare, Chief Executive Officer. “We believe now is the right time to explore options for our European business, which delivered significant improvements in revenue performance in the third quarter, and we now expect Europe revenue in the fourth quarter to exceed our results in the same period of 2019.”
Eccleshare added, “As a company, we are very well positioned, and I’m delighted that Scott Wells will succeed me as CEO on January 1, 2022. As we announced back in July, at that time I will be taking on my new role as Executive Vice Chairman and I look forward to assisting the Board and Scott with our ongoing evaluation and review of strategic opportunities to optimize our portfolio.”
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Wells, currently CEO of Clear Channel Outdoor Americas, who will become CEO of Clear Channel Outdoor Holdings at year-end, said, “Today’s announcement reaffirms our focus on our Americas segment. The strong growth in the Americas segment is due in part to our investments in our digital footprint, and in data analytics and programmatic trading, which are helping to improve and simplify the buying process. We have seen a notable uptick in demand in all products across our markets and remain focused on delivering profitable growth, continuing to invest in accretive opportunities, strengthening our balance sheet, and further demonstrating the operating leverage of our model. I am encouraged with the momentum in our business as we head into 2022, and I would like to thank our teams for their continued hard work and dedication to our customers.”
There can be no assurance that the strategic review process will result in any transaction or particular outcome. The Company has not set a timetable for completion of the review, may suspend the process at any time and does not intend to make further announcements regarding the process unless and until the Board approves a course of action for which further disclosure is appropriate.
Updated Q4 2021 Guidance
Clear Channel today also updated its guidance for the 2021 fourth quarter. Its expectations are now as follows (revenue amounts exclude movements in FX1 where applicable):
- Raised consolidated revenue from between $715 million and $740 million to now expected to be between $730 million and $750 million vs. 2019 consolidated fourth quarter revenue of $717 million2
- Reaffirmed Americas revenue, which is now expected to be on the higher end of the range of $360 million and $370 million vs. 2019 Americas fourth quarter revenue of $345 million
- Raised Americas Segment Adjusted EBITDA margin percentage from close to 2019 fourth quarter level of 42.3% to now expected to be above the 2019 fourth quarter level
- Raised Europe revenue from between $335 million and $350 million to now expected to be between $350 million and $360 million vs. 2019 Europe fourth quarter revenue of $349 million
- Reaffirmed year-to-date 2021 consolidated capital expenditures between $150 million and $160 million
The Company also raised the guidance for its liquidity balance, including unrestricted cash and availability under its credit facilities, from between $525 million and $575 million to now expected to be between $550 million and $600 million as of December 31, 2021.
Expected results and estimates may be impacted by factors outside of the Company’s control, such as the continuing impacts from COVID-19, and actual results may be materially different from this guidance. See “Cautionary Statement Concerning Forward-Looking Statements.”
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