Branded Cities announced this week a large minority investment from Shamrock Capital, a Los Angeles based media, entertainment and communication focused investment firm. Shamrock partners, Steve Royer and Andy Howard, will join the BC board.
Formed in 1998 and led by industry veteran Steven Ellman as its Founder and CEO, Branded Cities has significantly expanded its OOH platform and has become one of the leading digital players in the industry throughout the U.S. and Canada. Branded Cities has created strategic alliances with Panasonic Corporation of North America and ABC Regional Sports and Entertainment Sales in the U.S. and expanded its international reach with sales partnerships including DEFI (Europe and Asia) and Ocean Outdoor (UK). Branded Cities’s current management team, headed by Steven Ellman and Vaibhav Gupta, and Adam Butterworth, Branded Cities Canada President, will continue to manage the business.
Branded Cities assets are located in iconic and high-impact destinations in the U.S. and Canada and offer brands a unique opportunity for dwell time and engagement.
Steven Ellman told us “We are very excited to partner with Shamrock on the next chapter for Branded Cities. We are aggressively seeking signage acquisitions, joint ventures and digital and mobile collaborations throughout the U.S. and Canada. Shamrock’s expertise in media and experience investing in innovative companies will highly complement and support our growth strategy and the digitization of our signage portfolio.”
Shamrock’s Steve Royer said “We are thrilled to be partnering with Steve Ellman and the entire Branded Cities team. They have built an incomparable, premium out-of-home advertising company with iconic digital boards in the most desired locations. Their growth over the years has far outpaced the industry and we are looking forward to furthering that growth with our investment.”
Rothschild & Co., led by David Baron, Head/Western Region, served as exclusive financial advisor to BC and Ropes & Gray provided legal counsel. Latham & Watkins provided legal counsel to Shamrock.
Terms of the Shamrock investment have not been disclosed. EL Media, the parent company of Branded Cities, has simultaneously repurchased Cantor Fitzgerald’s interest in the Company. EL Media also recently acquired Clear Channel Outdoor’s interest in Clear Channel Outdoor Canada, making EL Media the 100% owner of the Canadian company. Branded Cities now controls over 3,000 signs throughout the U.S. and Canada.
Shamrock is a Los Angeles-based alternative investment firm with approximately $1.9 billion of assets under management, investing exclusively in the media, entertainment and communications sectors. Shamrock was originally founded in 1978 as the Roy E. Disney Family Investment Company and has since evolved into an institutional money manager with a leading group of investors including endowment and pension funds. Shamrock partners with strong management teams and takes an active, collaborative approach to creating value in each investment. Shamrock’s current investments include Appetize, Branded Cities, BTI Studios, Consilio, FanDuel, Giant Creative, Isolation Network, Maple Media, Mobilitie, Omega Wireless, Questex, RB Media, Screenvision Media, Silvergate Media and Wazee Digital.