Late last week Ten Network Holdings Limited (ASX:TEN) announced that it had sold its UK outdoor business, or as those in the UK positioned it, ‘Airport Partners and Eye UK merge to become the UK’s largest airport advertising company’.These two (see below) create a UK airport advertising company that represents 30 airports and channels 100 million+ airport passengers.
- Eye of course launched in the UK, back in 2006 with the Manchester Airport Group contract (that included Manchester, East Midlands and Bournemouth airports) and since then have significantly increased their portfolio to incorporate all of the advertising sites at London Gatwick, Stansted and Belfast International airports.
- Airport Partners was also formed in 2006 by Andrew Walker, founder of Adbus Transport Advertising, after he sold its sizable bus advertising division. The organisation originally represented just two regional airports: Leeds Bradford and Newcastle. Though its portfolio increased considerably over the subsequent six years and now encompasses over 20 airports, including Bristol, Exeter, Inverness, Dundee, Liverpool, Southampton, Blackpool and City of Derry airports.
Andrew Walker, CEO of Airport Partners, said of the deal “Eye has an excellent reputation, innovative ‘state of the art’ products and, importantly, a really great team. The combination of our two companies will create a distinctly different and commanding player within the airport advertising world. We are acquiring Eye but in every other sense our relationship is more like a merger because there aren’t many overlaps in our respective business models”.
Andrew Walker will be CEO of both companies but there will be two senior directors within the newly formed entity…
- Firstly, Sarah Parkes, who has been appointed Managing Director. Sarah was Exec VP and General Manager of Eye, and previously Group Managing Director at CDS Global for 20 years.
- Secondly, Mike Brennan, who will assume the role of Group Commercial Director of both Eye and Airport Partners. Mike was previously Regional Sales Director at CBS for ten years following six years with JC Decaux.
Andrew added that for the next six months the companies will largely operate separately but following that period, the two will merge, rebrand and be set up to maximise sales both regional and nationally.