By Scott Wright

FORREST Group, the Glasgow-based company owned by Scots entrepreneur Chris Trainer, has struck a deal to sell the majority of its outdoor advertising sites across the UK.

The sites, which represent the largest privately-owned portfolio of out-of-home advertising locations in the UK, have been acquired by Wildstone Capital for an undisclosed sum.

Mr Trainer, who is a major shareholder in Celtic Football Club, said the sale would boost Forrest’s ability to “take advantage of opportunities that will no doubt emerge in the developing economic climate.”

Forrest owns the Radisson RED hotel next to the Hydro in Glasgow, which opened in 2018 following an investment of £30 million.

READ MORE: Hydro hotel will be the first of many

Asked if Forrest would consider further opportunities to invest in the hospitality sector, Mr Trainer told The Herald: “Very much so. Radisson RED is trading exceptionally well with our management team doing a fantastic job in establishing it as a venue as well as a hotel.

“Forrest Hotels and Forrest Developments are looking at new opportunities.”

The sale of the advertising sites comes after Forrest Group offloaded its Forrest Media business to London-based media company Ocean Outdoor for £32m in 2018.

READ MORE: Celtic shareholder Trainer sells media firm in £32m deal

Forrest retained ownership of its outdoor advertising sites further to the deal, with its securities division leasing the properties to Ocean on a long-term basis. The sites are based in high-profile locations in Glasgow, Edinburgh, Newcastle and Manchester. A further portfolio of sites leased by Forrest to Clear Channel Outdoor was included in the Wildstone sale.

Mr Trainer said: “The disposal of a significant part of our media portfolio following an attractive offer from Wildstone makes commercial sense at this time.”

Wildstone has grown rapidly across Europe in the last three years, and recently acquired Dutch digital company Power Tower.

Jonathan Chandler, managing director of Wildstone, said: “Working with Chris and the Forrest team on this acquisition has been an absolute pleasure. He has established a fantastic portfolio and we are delighted to be the new guardians of these landmark sites.”