Global buys Primesight and Outdoor Plus as it muscles in on OOH space

Global will now be well positioned to take on giants like JCDecaux / Global

Radio firm Global has acquired both Primesight and Outdoor Plus in a double deal as it looks to become a major player in the out-of-home (OOH) space.

The Capital and LBC owner will bring its two new buys together under one roof to form a new division called Global Outdoor.

Global said that the freshly-created OOH unit will "live alongside" its radio business, but the pair will be run separately. It did suggest, though, that it will leverage Global’s "centrally-run structure" to enable "smart opportunities" for brands in the future.

Recently, Global has been doubling down on programmatic audio with its DAX platform. It's now looking like digital OOH will be also become a big focus for the business, with plans afoot to "heavily invest"across Primesight and Outdoor Plus estates to significantly up the number of digital sites.

Primesight has an OOH ad estate of billboards and display panels that covers more than 35,000 sites in the UK, claiming to reach 95% of the population. Earlier this year it retained a lucrative £125m outdoor contract with Network Rail.

Outdoor Plus, meanwhile, owns a multitude of premium digital ad sites nationwide, especially in London where it owns the space at the Hammersmith Towers and Euston Underpass.

Global will now be well positioned to take on giants like JCDecaux, Exterion Media and Clear Channel.

Last year, Primesight's parent firm Bell Holdco had a turnover of £61.3m, Project Iconic Holdings, the owner of of Outdoor Plus, pulled in revenues of £30.5m.

Outdoor Plus chief executive Jonathan Lewis and Primesight boss Naren Patel will "transition with their respective businesses" to Global Outdoor, which will be overseen by Stephen Miron, Global’s Group chief executive.

The value of the deal hasn't been disclosed, but reports place it above £200m.

“We’ve always been strong supporters of outdoor advertising and understand the power of the medium - we see an extremely complimentary fit with our radio business," explained Miron.

"Similar to radio, OOH also continues to show consistent annual advertising growth and through the increase in digital out-of-home, we can see that the medium has great potential to grow even further. In both Jonathan Lewis and Naren Patel we are fortunate to have two of the most exceptional leaders and innovators in OOH, and I look forward to working with them as we build Global Outdoor."

Increasingly, advertisers are seeing digital OOH as a way to connect the dots between what costumers are doing online and on the streets. Last year, Burger King's UK vice-president of marketing, Renato Rossi, hinted at the fast-food chain's ambition to invest more in personalised billboards to engage with customers one-to-one.

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