Primesight circles Eye Airports in £3m deal

Eye Airports: Primesight has emerged as the preferred bidder
Eye Airports: Primesight has emerged as the preferred bidder

Primesight has emerged as the preferred bidder for regional media specialist Eye Airports, which has outdoor contracts for London Gatwick and Manchester airports, in a deal estimated at £3 million.

Primesight has confirmed it is in the process of doing due diligence on the deal, which is believed to involve several third party contracts, not least with the airports themselves. 

Subject to successful completion, the transaction would add the outdoor sites of some of the UK’s busiest airports, currently owned by Ad Group, to Primesight’s portfolio of out of home advertising sites.

Eye Airports claims to have a national network reach of more than 100 million passengers a year, and last year generated revenue of £12 million.

For the past three years the business has been run by managing director Sarah Parkes, who is leaving the business in September to pursue new opportunities having resigned before any potential deal with Primesight had emerged. 

Last year, the airport specialist launched its Redefining Airports initiative, an £8 million investment in advertising media and technology, which included the latest high-spec formats and new opportunities for advertisers to "dominate" the airport environment.

Primesight has a national portfolio of advertising panels including roadside billboards and 6-sheets. The company also markets panels in cinema foyers and the Glasgow Subway. Primesight is investing heavily in digital and is in the process of rolling out "Network", a national digital 48-sheet product.

Confirming the deal, Andrew Walker, managing director of AdGroup, said: "I'm proud of the impact that Eye Airports has made on the UK airport advertising industry, however to achieve its full potential, I believe it needs to be part of a larger and broader-based Out of Home group that can build on what our superb team has already achieved.

"Primesight's culture and aspirations, along with its understanding of the Eye Airports offering, make it the ideal partner. They share Eye Airports’ passion to take airport advertising to the next level."

Naren Patel, chief executive of Primesight, said: "We are extremely excited about this opportunity. Eye Airports is a unique chance for us to gain a significant presence in the UK airport advertising sector.

"Airport advertising is great at reaching an upmarket audience in an environment that is perfect for developing digital products and ideally placed for mobile and Out of Home interactivity."

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