Ocean Outdoor Limited (LSE: OOUT) has acquired Forrest Media, a leading provider of large format outdoor media solutions in Scotland.
The deal expands Ocean’s national footprint and enhances its position as a leading large format digital out of home operator in the UK, with an offering which will now include Scotland’s capital city of Edinburgh and the economic centre of Glasgow. Forrest Media is recognised as the market leader in Scotland and the North of England for premium digital out-of-home, backed by its strong portfolio of locations throughout Edinburgh, Glasgow and greater Scotland as well as Manchester and Newcastle.
Incorporating Ocean’s presence in London, Birmingham, Manchester, Leeds, Liverpool, Newcastle, Bristol and Nottingham with Forrest Media’s presence in Glasgow and Edinburgh gives Ocean a market leading position across the UK, underpinning Ocean’s strategic vision and plan of ‘Digital Cities for Digital Citizens’.
The acquisition further builds upon Ocean’s strategy to create a scale out-of-home media company through consolidation, complementing Ocean’s strong digital organic growth initiatives, as detailed at the time of Ocelot Partners’ (the vehicle founded by LionTree and Andrew Barron) acquisition of Ocean in March.
Ocean CEO Tim Bleakley told us “Forrest are the champions of Out of Home in Scotland and it’s a business we have long admired. This is a hugely exciting time for both companies and the sector. We are combining Scotland’s most iconic assets with Ocean’s unique technology and award winning brand.”
The Forrest Media management team will continue under the day-to-day leadership of managing director Marc Keenan. Chris Trainer, the Founder of Forrest Group, becomes Chairman of the Scottish business, Ocean Scotland. Ocean has also entered into new long-term lease agreements with other Forrest Group entities for sites owned by such entities.
Trading in Ocean’s ordinary shares remains suspended. Ocean intends to seek re-admission of its ordinary shares (subject to meeting relevant eligibility criteria) to a standard listing on the Official List and trading on the London Stock Exchange as soon as practicable.
Ocean Outdoor operates the most iconic outdoor sites in London, Birmingham, Manchester, Liverpool, Glasgow, Newcastle, Nottingham and Leeds. They include Landsec’s Piccadilly Lights, Britain’s largest advertising site; London’s BFI IMAX; the Two Towers East and Two Towers Manchester; and the Liverpool media wall, the UK’s 2nd largest full-motion advertising site. Ocean also holds exclusive rights for the most premium urban shopping mall in Europe, Westfield London and Westfield Stratford, which has more than 50 million shoppers with spending power approaching GBP 2.1 billion.
Forrest Media is a recognised leader in OOH in Scotland (Glasgow, Edinburgh) with a strong presence in the key northern cities of Manchester and Newcastle.