PARIS, FRANCE: Antin Infrastructure Partners announced 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. The transaction is expected to close in Q3 of 2022, a statement said.
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.