Ocean Outdoor

  • Sector: Advertising/ media
  • First Invested: May 2008
  • Total Invested: £5.8M
  • Status: Exited

Ocean Outdoor is the UK leader and innovator in spectacular and iconic out of home advertising sites.

Ocean had the reality of growing a premium offering in challenging market economics. Maintaining rapid, profitable growth has meant taking share from the global majors who dominate outdoor advertising. Ocean has achieved this with an unwavering focus on developing only the most spectacular. Ocean’s approach has attracted many new high end brands to outdoor. Chanel and Bentley’s first use of digital outdoor was with Ocean, and Ocean has the only digital outdoor sites in the world used by Apple. Today, Ocean generates more revenue and profit per location than any other outdoor media owner.

Smedvig Capital worked extensively with the management to put the systems and processes Ocean would need as a larger business. Central to this was a rigorous process to filter and appraise the potential value of new sites, marrying Ocean’s deep expertise with relevant demographics, traffic data and financial analytics. We helped standardise and simplify commercial and legal agreements, allowing Ocean to move more quickly than competitors and reduce the costs of developing new sites. We also supported the negotiation and execution of several more complex deals, freeing the management team to focus on growing the business.

Their success has been reflected not only financially but 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).

nominated for the prestigious Mediaweek “Media Brand of the Year” and was ultimately second only to Google/ You Tube, ahead of Sky News and the BBC/Top Gear.

Ocean was acquired by Lloyds Development Capital for £35M in cash in May 2012. Smedvig Capital worked closely with Rothschild and BDO to manage the process on behalf of Ocean shareholders.