Apax-backed Streetbroadcast goes bust

The UK-based street advertising firm, acquired by Apax in 2003, has filed for administration, blaming poor market conditions and slashed advertising budgets. The firm’s administrator MCR is now seeking a trade buyer.

Streetbroadcast, an Apax Partners portfolio company providing street advertising, has filed for administration after making nearly 70 percent of its staff redundant.

The London-based firm, which sells advertising space on specially engineered lampposts in more than 200 locations across the UK, counts cosmetic brand Nivea, mobile phone operator Orange, and Pepsi Cola among its clients.

Streetbroadcast’s administrators at MCR, which were called in on 25 February 2009, are now seeking a trade buyer, and have said that a number of interested buyers have come forward. Of the firm’s original 29 staff members 20 have now been made redundant.

Apax acquired Streetbroadcast in 2003 for an undisclosed sum, and then increased its stake with an additional £3 million (€3.3 million; $4.1 million) investment, along with Consensus Business Group, in 2004.

Advertising for a new buyer

Joint administrators to the firm, partners at MCR Paul Clark and Geoff Bouchier, released a statement saying that Streetbroadcast is continuing to trade through the administration process and that they are confident of a trade sale.

“There is no doubt that this [the administration filing] is being driven by the broader economy as advertisers cut their spending. There have been some issues with liquidity and this has been compounded by a decline in general advertising spend,” a spokesperson for MCR said in an interview.

Apax was unavailable for comment at press time and Streetbroadcast declined to comment.