Following its acquisition of a 50% stake in boutique media company UrbanSigns in 2018, leading out-of-home (OOH) media owner Tractor Outdoor has since announced that it will take over the rest of the business.
Ben Harris, managing director at Tractor, explains that upon the initial part-acquisition of UrbanSigns four years ago, a joint venture between the two businesses was launched – a separate entity called ‘urbantrac’. Through merging the portfolios of both companies, clients were able to benefit from having access to multiple OOH locations and thus maximise their reach.
“With this latest move, we will now do away with urbantrac and consolidate everything under the Tractor Outdoor umbrella. This will unlock significant value for our clients by adding 26 key sites to our Western Cape portfolio, extending our footprint and influence. Moreover, having complete autonomy will allow us greater opportunity to innovate, update and augment the portfolio as we go.”
Harris says that the relationship with UrbanSigns has been a mutually beneficial, rewarding and long-standing one, adding that: “UrbanSigns’ owner Antony Urbaniak founded his company around 30 years ago, and is one of the stalwarts and pioneers of the local outdoor media industry.
“He has run an admirably tight ship and managed a successful business for many years, and it has been a privilege working with – and learning from – him. We look forward to building on this legacy while taking our own business into the future.”
Remarks Urbaniak: “It has been a wonderful partnership and I will miss working with Tractor and their dynamic team.”
Harris says that the Western Cape continues to yield exciting potential for media owners and advertisers. “The province’s outdoor media landscape is well-regulated and it sees a large number of tourists, business travellers and holidaymakers each year.
“There is a great demand for iconic, premium sites, and Cape Town is well-known for these. Thus it remains a core strategic focus within our national network of OOH and digital out of home (DOOH) inventory.”
This announcement follows the recent acquisition of a minority stake in Tractor Media Holdings by black-owned private equity and venture capital firm Hlayisani Capital; with the intention behind both moves being to aggressively accelerate the Tractor’s DOOH growth strategy over the next few years.