Forrest Media sold to Ocean Outdoor

London-based Ocean Outdoor Limited said it acquired Glasgow-based Forrest Media, the large-format outdoor media firm founded by major Celtic shareholder Chris Trainer.

Trainer is Celtic’s third-largest shareholder, holding about 10.5% of the company’s shares.

“The deal expands Ocean’s national footprint and enhances its position as a leading large format digital out of home (DOOH) operator in the UK, with an offering which will now include Scotland’s capital city of Edinburgh and the economic centre of Glasgow,” said Ocean Outdoor.

“Forrest Media is recognised as the market leader in Scotland and the North of England for premium digital out-of-home, backed by its strong portfolio of locations throughout Edinburgh, Glasgow and greater Scotland as well as Manchester and Newcastle.

“Incorporating Ocean’s presence in London, Birmingham, Manchester, Leeds, Liverpool, Newcastle, Bristol and Nottingham with Forrest Media’s presence in Glasgow and Edinburgh gives Ocean a market leading position across the UK, underpinning Ocean’s strategic vision and plan of ‘Digital Cities for Digital Citizens’.”

Ocean CEO Tim Bleakley said: “Forrest are the champions of Out of Home in Scotland and it’s a business we have long admired.

“This is a hugely exciting time for both companies and the sector.

“We are combining Scotland’s most iconic assets with Ocean’s unique technology and award winning brand.”

Trainer said: “Ocean are a fantastic market leading business and the combination today with Forrest Media now delivers a truly national ‘footprint’, which we believe will have very significant benefits in our industry, with great opportunities for the whole team.”

The Forrest Media management team will continue under the day-to-day leadership of Ocean’s managing director Marc Keenan.

Trainer becomes chairman of the Scottish business, Ocean Scotland.

Ocean has also entered into new long-term lease agreements with other Forrest Group entities for sites owned by such entities.