Veteran out-of-home owner/operator Jörg Cieslok has partnered with Canadian private equity firm Clairvest Group to purchase the Canadian division of Titan Outdoor from its New York-based parent company.
A purchase price was not disclosed, but Clairvest announced that it has invested $15 million, while Cieslok told Marketing he has made a commitment in the “seven-figures” to the company.
It is the 42nd platform investment for Clairvest, which invests its own capital and that of third parties through the Clairvest Equity Partners limited partnerships. The company said it invests in businesses that have the potential to generate “superior returns.”
Titan Outdoor Canada has been rechristened Cieslok Media, making it the third Canadian out-of-home company to bear Cieslok’s name since he started in the out-of-home business in 1990. Cieslok, who becomes president and CEO of the new venture, sold his most recent Canadian operation to Titan in 2004. He moved to the U.S. in 2009 to run Titan’s Chicago operation, returning to Canada in December 2012.
Titan’s U.S. business is mostly built around transit advertising, with a limited presence in billboards and specialty media – business lines that require both company resources and significant capital investment to grow and sustain.
“The decision was made that [Titan] would concentrate on the U.S. market,” said Cieslok. “As much as they enjoyed the Canadian business over the past nine years, it was best to put effort into areas where they can grow.”
Cieslok Media currently operates large-format signage that includes both static displays and a national digital network comprised primarily of 14-by-48-foot signs and some 10 x 35-foot signs in Vancouver, Toronto and Montreal.
Cieslok said that company’s objective over the next five years is to continue growing its digital network in major Canadian markets, as well as adding to its “landmark locations” within major markets. Cieslok said that the company is finalizing a deal that will see it erect a fully digitized sign in an undisclosed landmark location in Toronto by mid-2014.
“It’s not an inexpensive investment and [acquiring permits] for these types of locations is very difficult, so it’s not like anybody and everybody will be building a digital plant,” said Cieslok. “You have to really understand it, you have to know how to sell it, and you have to be highly-engaged with it.”
Cieslok Media is currently based out of Mississauga, but will move to a new downtown Toronto office in December. The company currently employs 23 people, but that number will grow to about 30 by the end of the year, said Cieslok.
Blurb: Veteran out-of-home owner/operator Jorg Cieslok is back in the Canadian market, partnering with private equity firm Clairvest Group to purchase the Canadian division of Titan Outdoor. The division has been rechristened Cieslok Media, making it the third out-of-home venture to bear his name.