WPP confirms joint venture for Portland and Poster Publicity to create £350m global outdoor giant

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LONDON - WPP Group has confirmed it will merge its outdoor specialist Portland with the independent Poster Publicity to create a new joint venture holding company with billings of £350m.

The new global outdoor media buying and planning company, yet to be named, will be headed by Eric Newnham, currently chairman and chief executive of Poster Publicity. WPP's global media operation Group M will transfer its outdoor business and professionals into the new venture, which will be owned 50-50 by the two companies.

The operation will have more than 300 staff and offices in more than 35 countries, including the UK and the US. Combined revenues for the two companies total £21m and combined billings are almost £350m.

Portland Outdoor has seen a number of account losses last year including COI Communications, UCI, Estee Lauder and the Telegraph Group, although it held on to the Kellogg account after a pitch against Posterscope last November.

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