Ocean Outdoor exits from Smedvig after four years

LDC has led a secondary buy-out of Ocean Outdoor on the back of the business increasing its revenue by three-fold during Smedvig Capital's four year involvement.

Smedvig Capital has realised its investment in Ocean Outdoor through a deal worth £35 million, a 4x return on its total outlay.

The London-based investor first invested £5.7 million in Ocean back in 2008, and obtained a majority stake through an input of capital to allow the business to grow in the market and focus on its digital offerings.

Ocean Outdoor provides out of home advertising and specialises in large format digital and iconic landmark locations. Upon taking a majority stake in the business, Smedvig brought in Tom Goddard, former CEO of the International Division of CBS Outdoor, as chairman.

Further new hiring came in the form of new CEO Tim Bleakley, a former UK managing director of CBS Outdoor, one of the world’s largest media outdoor companies.

The deal sees LDC come on board as majority stakeholder, and will see the new private equity firm partner support further expansion as it pushes for ‘a more central role as cross media digital audiences coverage’.

Johnny Hewett, chief executive of Smedvig Capital, comments, ‘We are of course very pleased with the financial outturn of the Ocean investment making nearly 4x invested capital in four years.

Speaking to GrowthBusiness back in April, Hewett said that he was a firm believer in the role of an independent chair appointed jointly by management and their investor, a process which has been implemented at Ocean.

He added, ‘A person with real experience and a track record in the relevant industry adds gravitas and opens doors for the business.’

Goddard says that securing the backing of LDC is a ‘strong endorsement of the Ocean brand and team’.

Daniel Sasaki, managing director of LDC, adds, ‘The Ocean team presented a compelling story of what has been achieved to date, together with their exciting plans for the future.’

Hunter Ruthven

Hunter Ruthven

Hunter was the Editor for GrowthBusiness.co.uk from 2012 to 2014, before moving on to Caspian Media Ltd to be Editor of Real Business.

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