Ad giant Ocean Outdoor agrees to sell to biggest investor

An outdoor advertising giant, whose sites include the Piccadilly Lights in London, has agreed to a sale to its largest shareholder.

Ocean Outdoor confirmed the deal with investment firm Atairos after disclosing the talks on April 13.

The company also recorded revenue of £124.4m for 2021, down from £86.2m, while its pre-tax losses were reduced from £156.4m to 30, £3 million.

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The company has offices in London, Glasgow, Manchester and Birmingham and has partnerships with Wimbledon, BBC, NFL, Team GB and Formula E.

It has digital billboards in Aberdeen, Birmingham, Bournemouth, Bristol, Derby, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Leeds, Liverpool, London, Manchester, Newcastle, Norwich, Nottingham and Southampton.

Chief Executive Tim Bleakley said: “We ended 2021 with all of our territories open and capitalizing on the surge in advertising spend, which resulted in a record fourth quarter performance for the group.

“Over the past three years, the group has grown from a UK-focused player to one of the most advanced DOOH operators in Northern Europe, spanning seven countries.

“Our decision to commit to our investment plans and grow our premium digital assets during the pandemic period has positioned Ocean at the forefront of the recovery.

“At the same time, advancing our network capabilities has helped brands deliver some of the most impactful and memorable out-of-home campaigns we’ve seen.”

The company also operates outdoor advertising in the Netherlands, the Nordic countries and Germany.

In 2021, the firm was named the Canary Wharf Group’s exclusive outdoor media partner, with a long-term contract value of £30m.

He also secured a £25m outside media partnership deal for the St James area of ​​Edinburgh.

Ocean Outdoor also launched an experiential “fan zone” campaign and Tokyo 2020 highlights at Westfield London in partnership with Team GB.

Commenting on the acquisition, Mr Bleakley added: “Ocean is one of the leading digital outdoor advertising operators in the UK, Northern Europe and Continental Europe.

“Since being acquired by Ocelot and listed on the London Stock Exchange in 2018, it has undertaken six acquisitions and expanded its network to offer more than 4,000 screens in seven countries and 351 cities, with its technology capabilities offering the most impactful and measurable results DOOH branding and advertising experiences.

“Atairos’ cash offer represents an opportunity for current shareholders to realize attractive and certain value for their investment, reflecting the strength of Ocean’s high-quality business and future prospects.

“The Atairos proposal can bring clear benefits to the entire stakeholder group, supporting Ocean as it continues to invest in its people and technology and expand its reach and reach. in new and existing markets.

“We look forward to supporting our clients and agencies in a new phase of innovation and industry leadership as the company embarks on the next stage of Ocean Voyage.”

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