By Jordan Mayo
Smedvig Capital has sold Ocean Outdoor, the UK leader and innovator in spectacular and iconic out of home advertising sites, to UK-based mid-market private equity house, Lloyds Development Capital (LDC), for £35m.
Smedvig first invested in Ocean Outdoor in 2008, obtaining a majority stake through an input of capital to allow the business to grow in the market and focus on its digital offerings.
Whilst working with Ocean, Smedvig hired key senior team members including chairman Tom Goddard, a former CEO of the international division of CBS Outdoor, and CEO Tim Bleakley, a former managing director of CBS Outdoor.
Smedvig worked extensively with the management to input the systems and processes necessary for a larger business, and supported the negotiation and execution of several complex deals, freeing the team to focus on growing the business.
The success of Ocean was demonstrated both financially and in industry recognition; in 2011 they won the award for the two best digital sites in the UK and took the prestigious Campaign “outdoor sales team of the year” award (beating giants Clear Channel and JCDecaux).
“The whole team is very proud of everything that we have achieved and continue to achieve at Ocean. We have all enjoyed greatly working closely with Smedvig Capital. Their experience, analytical rigour and constant support has been invaluable to Ocean’s successful development.” Tim Bleakley, CEO of Ocean Outdoor
“We are of course very pleased with the financial outturn of the Ocean investment making nearly 4x invested capital in four years. More than that, it has been a great privilege to work with Tom, Tim and the whole of the Ocean team who have done an outstanding job in creating a clear leader in their targeted space. We look forward to watching them continue to thrive.” Johnny Hewett, CEO of Smedvig Capital