LDC divests stake in Ocean Group to Searchlight Capital

Searchlight Capital Partners has acquired a stake in Ocean Group. The seller was LDC. No financial terms were disclosed. Based in the U.K., Ocean Group is an out-of-home advertising firm.


Ocean Group today (December 22 2014) announced that Searchlight Capital Partners LP has acquired LDC’s entire stake in the business.

Announcing the new investor partner, Ocean Chairman Tom Goddard said: “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.”

Commenting on the deal, Oliver Haarmann, Founding Partner of Searchlight Capital Partners LP, said: ”We believe in the long-term growth potential of digital out of home advertising and are excited to partner with Ocean’s management team, who have an accomplished track record of successful innovation.”

Tim Bleakley, Ocean CEO, said: “The next chapter will be the most exciting element of our long term growth plan and will enhance the value to our customers of both the Ocean and Signature businesses.

“The opportunities out there not only offer huge potential, but will redefine the out of home advertising market and its relevance in helping brands achieve their business objectives. We are pleased to be partnering with Searchlight and excited by their approach and belief in the sector and in our plan.”

David Andrews, LDC Investor Director, commented: “It has been immensely rewarding working with Tom, Tim and the very successful Ocean management team over the past two and a half years. The company has enjoyed rapid growth and built an award winning reputation. We wish the team continued success for the future.”

About Searchlight Capital Partners LP
Searchlight is a global private investment firm with offices in London, New York and Toronto. Searchlight seeks to invest in businesses and accelerate value creation for all stakeholders through its long term capital and strategic support. For more information, please visit www.searchlightcap.com

About Ocean Outdoor
Ocean Outdoor is the UK’s leading specialist out-of-home advertising company, with an unrivalled portfolio of large format digital screens, banner and super premium landmark advertising sites.

Ocean Outdoor operates the most iconic outdoor sites in London, Birmingham, Manchester, Liverpool, Glasgow, Newcastle and Leeds. They include Britain’s largest advertising site at London’s IMAX; the Two Towers East and Two Towers West, which dominate the main arterial corridors of London’s A4 and the financial district; and the Liverpool media wall, the UK’s largest full-motion advertising site. Ocean 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 £1billion.
Ocean also owns and operates Signature Outdoor the market leader in premium large format outdoor media in Birmingham and the West Midlands and the commercial advertising partner for Birmingham City Council.