JCDecaux buys Titan (UK)

By Fred Kuhlman • januari 22nd, 2010

This article is a reprint from www.screens.tv.

JCDecaux has secured undisputed leadership of the British outdoor-advertising market by acquiring Titan Outdoor, leaving rivals CBS Outdoor and Clear Channel Outdoor trailing in its wake.

The French-owned company now controls nearly a third of the UK outdoor-advertising sector, after buying on undisclosed terms the assets – but not the liabilities – of Titan, which entered administrative receivership on Monday.

Those assets include digital six-sheets in malls and at major railway stations, as well as the larger Transvision screens at rail hubs and extensive non-digital inventory.

“There is a great potential fit with our existing roadside and airport advertising business and with strong positions in retail and rail advertising [Titan] is well placed for growth,” JCDecaux’s UK CEO Jeremy Male was quoted as saying. Titan’s railway-station advertising business alone is worth around £26m ($43m) annually, and one Titan executive reportedly claimed that sales across its estate were booming, up 30 percent on the same time last year. It is expected that JCDecaux will entirely rebrand the Titan business under its own name, but campaigns booked on Titan’s inventory will run as scheduled.

JCDecaux for its part has not rushed into digital out-of-home in the UK, although its local arm has long been interested in the medium, and the Titan takeover will significantly boost its inventory.

Although its extensive network at Heathrow Airport’s Terminal 5 is one of the best-known recent British installations and its giant Torch dual display on the M4 motorway in west London is one of the highest-profile roadside sites, the bulk of its business remains in non-digital outdoor media such as billboards and six-sheets. It also sells point-of-sale advertising at Britain’s biggest supermarket, Tesco, and in Tesco’s much smaller but more upmarket rival Waitrose.

Estimates by outdoor agency Kinetic show JCDecaux now holding 29 percent of the British market in terms of inventory owned, with CBS Outdoor and Clear Channel Outdoor roughly tying for second position at 23 percent and 22 percent respectively. On a global level, JCDecaux still takes second place to Clear Channel Outdoor.

In September, Titan Outdoor sold its roadside assets to Primesight in a deal valued at £6m ($10m).


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