GTCR Partners with Adams Outdoor Advertising to Acquire Fairway Media Group
January 20, 2015
Strategic acquisition expands strong outdoor advertising platform.
GTCR, a leading private equity firm, today announced it has partnered with Adams Outdoor Advertising (“Adams Outdoor”) to acquire Fairway Media Group, LLC (“Fairway”) from ACON Investments and MidOcean Partners. Fairway is one of the largest outdoor advertising companies in the United States, operating approximately 20,000 bulletins, posters and digital billboard faces across key metro areas in the Southeast, Southwest and Midwest regions.
The investment in Fairway illustrates GTCR’s focus on partnering with outstanding management teams to acquire and grow market-leading companies. Since 1983, Adams Outdoor has been a preeminent provider of outdoor advertising solutions and has reinvented outdoor into the advertising medium of choice for its clients. GTCR is partnering with Adams Outdoor, Adams Outdoor CEO Kevin Gleason, Adams Outdoor CFO Abe Levine and existing Fairway management to enhance Fairway’s strong customer relationships and further expand its outdoor advertising offerings.
“We are thrilled to have the opportunity to partner with Adams Outdoor in this transaction,” said David Donnini, managing director at GTCR. “Kevin Gleason and Abe Levine are proven veterans of the outdoor advertising industry, and we look forward to working with them to continue building a leading outdoor advertising franchise at Fairway.”
“Fairway is a great company with strong market presence and high-quality assets in attractive, fast-growing economies,” said Kevin Gleason, CEO of Adams Outdoor. “I am excited about the opportunity to work with GTCR to build on the success that Fairway has achieved to date, and to continue to serve its customers, employees and communities.”
“Kevin and Abe have an exceptional track record in operating and managing outdoor advertising companies, and this transaction demonstrates GTCR’s commitment to finding creative ways to partner with leading management teams,” said Craig Bondy, managing director at GTCR. “Fairway is a unique asset within the outdoor advertising industry, and we look forward to supporting the growth opportunities available through acquisitions and internal investments.”
GTCR’s investment in Fairway was funded from GTCR Fund XI, a private equity fund raised in 2014 with $3.85 billion of limited partner equity capital commitments. Deutsche Bank Securities Inc. served as M&A advisor to GTCR, Stephen McNeely of Tantara Capital Partners, Inc. served as an industry advisor, and Kirkland & Ellis LLP served as legal counsel to GTCR. Newstone Capital Partners provided mezzanine debt financing in connection with the transaction. Adams Outdoor will assume a minority ownership stake in Fairway. Moelis & Company LLC served as financial advisor to Fairway, and Hogan Lovells US LLP served as its legal advisor.
Founded in 1980, GTCR is a leading private equity firm focused on investing in growth companies in the Financial Services & Technology, Healthcare and Information Services & Technology industries. The Chicago-based firm pioneered The Leaders Strategy™—finding and partnering with management leaders in core domains to identify, acquire and build market-leading companies through transformational acquisitions and organic growth. Since its inception, GTCR has invested more than $10 billion in over 200 companies. For more information, please visit www.gtcr.com.
About Fairway Media Group
Fairway Media Group is one of the country’s largest privately held outdoor advertising companies with displays in 15 states throughout the Southeast, Southwest and Midwest regions. Fairway’s focus on local and regional sales and outstanding customer service make it one of the country’s finest outdoor advertising companies. Fairway provides advertisers with excellent opportunities to reach their target audiences at the right place and at the right time. For more information, please visit www.fairwayoutdoor.com.
About Adams Outdoor Advertising
Founded by Steve Adams in 1983, Adams Outdoor Advertising is an industry leader with a dramatic track record of annual revenue growth. Still privately held, Adams has grown strategically during its 31-year history, now operating in eight states in the Midwest, Mid-Atlantic and Southeast regions of the country. Adams was one of the first outdoor operators to capitalize on the use of digital technology, today operating approximately 160 digital displays nationwide. The company prides itself on its strong marketing organization and experienced management team. For more information, please visit www.adamsoutdoor.com.