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Ocean has built an award winning reputation and expanded its national presence to become the UK’s market leader in digital out of home advertising

LDC, the leading mid-market private equity houseannounced that it has exchanged contracts with private investment firm Searchlight Capital Partners LP to exit Ocean Outdoor, the UK’s leading operator of digital out of home advertising. Searchlight Capital will acquire LDC’s stake and contracts are expected to complete in mid-January 2015.

LDC’s initial investment, as part of a £35 million buyout in 2012, has helped the company to further develop its leading position in the iconic, large-format digital outdoor advertising market.

image001Headquartered in London, Ocean Outdoor, which trades under brand names ‘Ocean’ and ‘Signature’, is an independent British company, specialising only in large-format digital and super-premium banner locations, Ocean creates inspirational canvases for inspirational advertising.

In August 2014, with the support of LDC, Ocean Outdoor acquired Signature Outdoor, the market leader in premium out of house media in Birmingham and the West Midlands. The move has allowed the company to increase its national footprint and has provided the resources to further develop innovative digital solutions for its global customer base.

Today’s announcement marks a key milestone for the company and its third phase of expansion. With a well-established UK presence and an award winning reputation, the company is in a strong position to explore new opportunities and international development.

Ocean will become LDC’s 13th exit this year, with recent exits in the London region including the IPO of premium mixer brand FeverTree and earlier this year the exit of GVA, the UK’s largest independent commercial real estate consultant, following its merger with Bilfinger.

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.”

Tim Bleakley, CEO of Ocean Outdoor, commented:

“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.”

Oliver Haarmann, Founding Partner of Searchlight Capital Partners LP, commented:

“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.”