The demise of 8 Outdoor seems to have been incredibly swift (see previous story here) with news coming in last Friday and over the weekend that it may soon be all over…
Here are some key events from last week: –
- On Tuesday July 23, 2019 last week, a team of bailiffs turned up at the 8 Outdoor offices to serve papers on behalf of Insite Outdoor. This took back control of approximately 70 digital advertising site leases and the digital screen technology in-situ, leased to 8 Outdoor as a key component of its total portfolio. Non-payment of rent to Insite Outdoor which we believe to be iro GBP 2M was the reason.
- Some employees told us that owner Simon Grice had been promising staff all week that “all was ok as the business would be bought by Global” – which unfortunately for employees, is patently untrue.
- ‘Termination of appointment of Christopher James Keenan as a director on 12 July 2019’ – Chris Keenan was a Director and Managing Director of SIS DIGITAL VISION LIMITED, this is one of the many ‘holding’ companies in the life of 8 Outdoor. Could it be that SIS are also going belly up, are they clearing the decks for a sale of that business or is some other shenanigans going on? (a comment on this post below, indicated that Chris Keenan subsequently registered two new companies with the same address as 8 Outdoor’s accountants after being ‘terminated’).
- Over the weekend we were told by two interested parties that Global had picked up the majority (but not all of the leases reclaimed by Insite Outdoor) and this now seems to have been confirmed by Chairman Alan Brydon in a statement made to Campaign** who said, we quote “8 Outdoor has lost about 70 screens, or around two thirds of its portfolio”.
This now leaves 8 Outdoor as an outdoor media company comprising of about 20 digital locations leased from a variety of individual landlords. It is unclear whether they are also in rental arrears with any or all of these other contracts. Alan Brydon‘s statement to Campaign where he admitted the loss of the Insite contract was a “big setback” is a bit of an understatement. 8 Outdoor’s future as a viable standalone entity looks bleaker than that and if you read between the lines with the other companies in the Grice portfolio, many would say that they see someone closing companies and re-opening others, simply looking to walk away from their debts.
** Campaign is of course the “AdLand Bible” and is always a week behind us with news!