Phoenix-based Branded Cities Network has acquired Clear Channel Outdoor’s 50.001% interest in Clear Channel Outdoor Canada, making the company the 100% owner of the Canadian entity and adding to Branded Cities’ North American footprint.
This is very familiar territory for Branded Cities’ Chairman and CEO Steve Ellman, who founded the Canadian company and had US-based Clear Channel later join as a partner.
“Assuming full ownership of Clear Channel Canada is a strategic play for our North American portfolio, with the Canadian market exhibiting exciting growth prospects which will build on our successes, including the Yonge & Dundas Digital tower, Union Station and Edmonton Street Furniture,” says Ellman. “We founded this company in 1999 in Toronto with Clear Channel joining us as a partner in 2001. Canada continues to be a key market for BCN and this acquisition furthers our goal to offer brands the ability to dominate in large format digital advertising through iconic media in iconic locations.”
“Having worked for Clear Channel globally for more than two decades,” says Adam Butterworth, President of Clear Channel Canada, “I have had the pleasure of being a part of some amazing opportunities and this transaction is going to bring more exciting opportunities for Canada’s OOH industry allowing us to offer global brands a North American presence with impressive assets on both sides of the border.”
Astral and Pattison are the two big boys in Canadian out of home, with Clear Channel probably third in the pecking order. But the deal gives Branded Cities some primo locations in Toronto (like Yonge Dundas Square, billboards on the Gardiner Expressway, Billy Bishop Airport and Union Station) and street furniture networks in Edmonton & Ottawa.
Dave Haynes is the founder and editor of Sixteen:Nine, an online publication that has followed the digital signage industry for some 14 years. Dave does strategic advisory consulting work for many end-users and vendors, and also writes for many of them. He’s based near Halifax, Nova Scotia, on Canada’s east coast.