Company Behind Giant Eye Digital Boards In Birmingham, UK Changes Hands

August 22, 2022 by Dave Haynes

The UK company behind those big Eye of Sauron LED displays on the bulkheads outside a main Birmingham rail station ran into financial issues during the heights of COVID and has now acquired and rescued out of administration (bankruptcy) by a private equity fund.

Birmingham-based Concept Sign and Display, which specializes in big LED displays and custom signage, has been acquired by Elaghmore, and will become part of Hexcite Group, a company Elaghmore created in 2019.
Hexcite does specialist signage design, manufacturing, installation and after-care services, and already has a subsidiary called Blaze Signs.

Concept will continue to be run by managing director Sean Morrough and director Dave Neale, and its 18 staff will become part of Hexcite. The deal boosts Hexcite Group’s annual turnover to about £35M. It has a customer base of more than 250 retailers, financial institutions, facilities management companies and major brands.

“The digital out of home advertising market has great growth opportunities, and Concept is well placed to be a key player,” says Hexcite Group chief executive Wes Mulligan. “Working closely with Blaze Signs adds substantial technical and manufacturing expertise to Concept, and our Cygnia maintenance business can help Concept accelerate its digital signage maintenance capability. Concept’s offer will be of great interest to Blaze’s customer base, which will now have the option to go to one place for their traditional internal and external signage work, as well as their digital signage requirements. We expect Concept to reinforce its position as one of the leading full turnkey system integrators in its sector.”

I note this because I think there was a lot of worry two-plus years ago that COVID lockdowns were going to be quite punitive for companies with business models that relied on people being out of home. OOH media companies are built on big, aggregated audiences in public spaces, so when streets emptied, those audiences were dramatically reduced.

BusinessLive reports:

But the historically profitable firm was impacted by the covid-19 lockdowns, according to administrators from Interpath Advisory.

“This, coupled with the impact of ongoing legal costs relating to a contractual dispute, placed significant cash flow pressure on the business,” said Interpath.

“After reviewing their options, the directors took the difficult decision to file for the appointment of the joint administrators.”

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