Degrees of fantastic: Cosgrove leaves HT&E; APN fetches $1.2b

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With two of its former core businesses largely expunged, chairman of Here, There & Everywhere Peter Cosgrove has decided it's time to go.

The founder of outdoor pioneer Buspak, he joined the board of the then APN News & Media in 2003 and became its non-executive chairman in 2013.

The company sold its APN Australian regional newspapers to News Corp Australia last year and has just agreed to sell its Adshel street furniture business to outdoor giant Ooh Media for a "fantastic" $570 million.

Meanwhile, JCDecaux has today finalised a $1.2 billion takeover of APN Outdoor, the business in which APN News & Media spun off outdoor assets including Buspak in 2004.

Cosgrove, who will will retire at the end of this month, says the timing was right to move on as HT&E focuses on strengthening its remaining assets. "The company is at a pivotal point," he says.

"The divestment of Adshel is a good result for shareholders and provides a number of strong capital management initiatives to further strengthen the business. In my view, the company has never been in better shape with a strong balance sheet and the number one metropolitan radio business in the country with exceptional margins and cash generation."

He said his retirement would allow for board renewal and "a fresh approach".

Robert Kaye has been appointed interim chairman while the company looks for a permanent replacement.

Chief executive Ciaran Davis - who came to APN from a radio-focussed background - says Cosgrove had led the board through a comprehensive change programme. This included its exit from traditional publishing and repositioning on growth media assets.

"This strategy resulted in a fantastic sale price for Adshel and the board and management team sincerely thank Peter for his considerable effort, contribution and commitment over the past 14 years."

Pictured: Lucky ticket - from an Adshel promotion

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