Media company HT&E denies takeover talk by Ooh!Media

Media company HT&E denies takeover talk by Ooh!Media

Media company HT&E (ASX: HT1) has denied reports that it is considering a full takeover bid from Ooh!Media and could enter a trading halt.

Media reports emerged over the weekend that Ooh!Media was looking at a full takeover bid of HT&E as investment bankers were trying to find a buyer for its radio assets.

The board of HT&E recently rejected an offer from Ooh!Media for its outdoor advertising asset, Adshel, and on Monday they issued a statement on the ASX denying any knowledge of a takeover plan by its rival.

"In response to press speculation today, HT&E Limited advises that it is not aware of any discussions regarding a takeover bid for all of HT&E and that the company would not be entering into a trading halt," the statement says.

"After a number of years of transformation, our focus is on operating the company and driving synergy benefits between the divisions.

"We have a number of highly attractive media assets, including Radio and Outdoor. Adshel is a very valuable asset, both to other parties and as part of the HT&E Group."

HT&E is a media and entertainment company with assets in Australia, New Zealand and Hong Kong. HT&E was formerly listed as APN News & Media.

It has metropolitan media assets across radio, outdoor and digital, and its businesses include Australian Radio Network (ARN), Adshel, Conversant Media, Emotive and HT&E Events.

It's been reported Ooh!Media put forward an offer of between $400 million and $450 million for the Adshel business, but was rejected by the HT&E board as being too low.

However, HT&E chairman Peter Cosgrove told the company's AGM last week that it would consider any proposal that offers "compelling value" for shareholders.

Shares in HT&E rose more than five per cent in early trade and settled at around 3.5 per cent higher at $2.36 at around midday.

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