GTCR has partnered with Adams Outdoor Advertising to acquire Fairway Media Group from ACON Investments and MidOcean Partners. Fairway is one of the country’s largest privately held outdoor advertising companies. GTCR – with a majority equity position in Fairway Media Group – is partnering with Adams Outdoor, Adams Outdoor CEO Kevin Gleason, Adams Outdoor CFO Abe Levine and existing Fairway management.
“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 Media Group operates approximately 20,000 bulletins, posters and digital billboards across numerous metro areas in fifteen states throughout the Southeast, Southwest and Midwest regions. The company was founded in 1983 and is headquartered west of Charlotte in Duncan, SC (www.fairwayoutdoor.com).
“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 capital commitments. Dallas-based Newstone Capital Partners (www.newstone.com) provided mezzanine debt financing to support the transaction.
GTCR pioneered the investment strategy of identifying and partnering with executives to acquire and build companies through a combination of acquisitions and internal growth. The firm currently has nearly $11 billion in assets under management. Since its inception in 1980, GTCR has invested more than $10 billion in over 200 companies. The firm is based in Chicago (www.gtcr.com).
Adams Outdoor Advertising was founded by Steve Adams in 1983 and operates in eight states in the Midwest, Mid-Atlantic and Southeast regions of the country. The company is headquartered in Roswell, GA (www.adamsoutdoor.com).
Deutsche Bank Securities served as M&A advisor to GTCR, Stephen McNeely of Tantara Capital Partners served as an industry advisor, and Kirkland & Ellis served as legal counsel to GTCR. Moelis & Company served as financial advisor to Fairway, and Hogan Lovells US served as its legal advisor.
© 2015 PEPD • Private Equity’s Leading News Magazine • 1-21-15