Searchlight Capital Partners, L.P. (“Searchlight”) today announced the acquisition of a controlling interest in Ocean Outdoor U.K. Ltd. (“Ocean” or the “Company”), the UK’s leading operator of premium digital out of home advertising (“DOOH”). Ocean’s management team, which will continue to be a significant shareholder in the business, is widely respected in the industry, having pioneered DOOH in the U.K. and rolled out a national network of high quality digital sites.
Commenting on the deal, Oliver Haarmann, a founding partner of Searchlight, said, “We have been deeply impressed by Ocean’s management team who have an accomplished track record of successful innovation on which they have built a market leading business in a high growth sector. We look forward to supporting Ocean’s continued growth in digital out of home advertising through new UK and international site development as well as technological innovation to improve advertising efficacy.”
Tom Goddard, Chairman of Ocean, and Tim Bleakley, CEO, commented, “This move marks the start of Ocean’s third expansion phase, which includes international development, alongside its UK big city growth initiative programme and further investment in innovative technologies that enhance both consumer and brand interaction. We are pleased to be partnering with Searchlight and are excited by their approach and belief in the sector and in our plan.”
Ocean operates some of the UK’s most prominent and iconic outdoor advertising sites, including Britain’s largest advertising site at London’s IMAX as well as the Two Towers East and Two Towers West, which dominate London’s main arterial corridors. The Company also holds exclusive external rights for the most premium urban shopping mall in Europe, Westfield London, which has more than 28 million shoppers with spending power approaching £1 billion.