NextMedia spins billboards to Lamar


DealThe radio and interactive holdings of NextMedia aren’t going anywhere, but its collection of billboards will be headed into the portfolio of Lamar Outdoor. Structures in eight states are included in the deal.

NextMedia’s outdoor footprint consists of holdings in Virginia, North Carolina and South Carolina in the East, Wisconsin in the upper Midwest, and Nebraska, Kansas, Colorado and Wyoming in the portion of the US where the Great Plains meet the Rockies. Marci Ryvicker of Wells Fargo securities pegs the total number of billboards in the 500 range.

The deal is valued at $145M.

NextMedia owns and operates 33 radio stations in eight states.

Lamar also is thinking about another large outdoor acquisition. It had of late been focused on paying down debt.

Moody’s believes there is upside to the NextMedia acquisition in the form of converting static billboards to digital; the risk factor for the pure-play outdoor company is its almost total reliance on local advertising for its income, subjecting it to the vagaries of the economy and the notoriously unstable advertising business.