Antin to acquire Wildstone, the leading outdoor media infrastructure company in the UK2 August 2022
Wildstone is poised to lead the digitisation of outdoor media infrastructure, with over 3,000 billboards across the UK, Ireland and the Netherlands
Antin Infrastructure Partners announced today that Antin Flagship Fund IV has agreed to acquire Wildstone, the leading owner of independent outdoor media infrastructure in the UK, from DigitalBridge Group. Wildstone marks Flagship Fund IV’s final investment.
Founded in 2010 by CEO Damian Cox, Wildstone is one of the fastest growing owners of outdoor media infrastructure and has a portfolio of over 3,000 billboards across the UK and Europe, including premium digital billboards located along major roads. Wildstone has been at the forefront of the digital revolution in the sector and has shifted the focus of the entire industry away from paper to digital.
Wildstone’s business benefits from significant tailwinds as the UK and European outdoor media market is at the early stages of transformation and its growth is on a fast upward trajectory thanks to the shift to digital. Wildstone’s premium assets are increasingly in demand by leading global media companies seeking high quality, flexible and long-term media distribution infrastructure.
The Wildstone management team has a proven track record of growing its portfolio by acquiring traditional paper panel assets and upgrading them to next-generation screen technology backed by long-term inflation-linked contracts. Antin looks forward to partnering with Wildstone in this next chapter of its growth and replicating the platform’s success in the UK across new European markets.
Damian Cox, CEO and Founder of Wildstone, stated: “Europe represents a huge untapped opportunity and expansion to these territories is a natural extension of our business model which is to acquire, upgrade and scale. The future of outdoor media infrastructure is digital and we are, by far, the best positioned to capture a substantial piece of the global market share. Antin recognises the significant growth potential and together we are well placed to accelerate expansion.”
Stéphane Ifker, Senior Partner at Antin, commented: “With the UK market expected to achieve 70% digitisation within 10 years, we are excited to support Wildstone in scaling up UK operations and replicating its success across key European markets. Outdoor media infrastructure is a trusted broadcast medium with a national reach, which makes it essential for the advertising value chain and public stakeholders.”
DC Advisory acted as financial adviser to Antin, Kirkland & Ellis acted as legal adviser to Antin while Bain acted as a commercial adviser, Alvarez & Marsal as a financial & tax diligence adviser, and Mott MacDonald provided technical due diligence. Greenhill is serving as financial adviser to Wildstone on its sale by DigitalBridge, Linklaters is serving as legal adviser to DigitalBridge, Lewis Silkin is serving as legal adviser to Wildstone, and PwC is acting as financial & tax adviser to Wildstone.
The transaction is expected to close in Q3 of 2022.
Launched in 2010, Wildstone is the leading owner of independent outdoor media infrastructure in the UK. Wildstone provides leading global media companies with secure long-term access to high quality, flexible media distribution infrastructure. For further information about Wildstone, please visit: www.wildstone.co.uk
About Antin Infrastructure Partners
Antin Infrastructure Partners is a leading private equity firm focused on infrastructure. With over €22 billion in assets under management across its Flagship, Mid Cap and NextGen investment strategies, Antin targets investments in the energy and environment, telecom, transport and social infrastructure sectors. With offices in Paris, London, New York, Singapore and Luxembourg, Antin employs over 190 professionals dedicated to growing, improving and transforming infrastructure businesses while delivering long-term value to portfolio companies and investors. Majority owned by its partners, Antin is listed on Euronext Paris (Ticker: ANTIN – ISIN: FR0014005AL0).
About DigitalBridge Group, Inc.
DigitalBridge (NYSE: DBRG) is a leading global digital infrastructure investment firm. With a heritage of over 25 years investing in and operating businesses across the digital ecosystem including cell towers, data centers, fiber, small cells, and edge infrastructure, the DigitalBridge team manages a $47 billion portfolio of digital infrastructure assets on behalf of its limited partners and shareholders. Headquartered in Boca Raton, DigitalBridge has key offices in New York, Los Angeles, London, and Singapore.
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