CBS Outdoor International's sale process is believed to be progressing without the formal participation of the potential trade buyers, JCDecaux and Clear Channel Outdoor.
It is understood that although representatives from JCDecaux and Clear Channel Outdoor, or their shareholders, may have had conversations with CBS Corporation about the sale of its international outdoor arm, they have not been involved in the formal bidding process for the business.
However, it is believed that both JCDecaux and Clear Channel would be interested in parts of CBS Outdoor International if it were to be broken up.
One well-placed source said JCDecaux and Clear Channel’s participation in the process amounted to "tyre kicking", as they are prepared to have a look at what is for sale in the manner of someone buying a used car but are not really interested.
The senior management of CBS Outdoor International are believed to have presented the business to potential buyers in the final week of March and are now waiting for offers from the, mainly private equity, suitors.
Providence Private Equity Partners and Platinum Equity are believed to be among the bidders involved.
It is thought that CBS Outdoor is likely to choose two or three of the private equity firms involved to go through to the final stages of negotiations around the end of April or beginning of May.
CBS Corp officially put its international outdoor arm up for sale in January, ending years of speculation that it would offload the business.
One of the main barriers to the sale was seen to be the UK arm's disputed contract with London Underground but that was renegotiated in January 2012.
Spokespeople for JCDecaux and Clear Channel declined to comment. A spokesman for CBS Outdoor was unavailable to comment.
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