More Group in pounds 6.6m buy

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MORE GROUP, the outdoor advertising company at the eye of the acrimonious bid battle between rival groups Clear Channel and Decaux, yesterday expanded by acquiring Town & City, a billboard operator, for pounds 6.6m. The company, which operates premium billboards in the Granada, Tyne Tees and Central TV regions, last year had gross sales of pounds 7.5m and pretax profits of pounds 0.7m.

Roger Parry, More's chief executive, said the deal would expand the group's More O'Ferrall billboard operation in the UK. However, he denied that the deal was intended to spoil Decaux's pounds 475m bid for More, which is currently awaiting clearance by the Office of Fair Trading, pointing out that the two companies had been talking since 1995.