Universal Outdoor to buy Revere Baltimore-based billboard company fetching $125 million

November 26, 1996|By Ted Shelsby | Ted Shelsby,SUN STAFF

As part of the consolidation within the outdoor advertising industry, Universal Outdoor Inc. announced yesterday that it has reached an agreement to acquire Baltimore-based Revere National Corp.

Universal, based in Chicago, will pay $125 million for the stock of Revere, a privately held company. The transaction includes the assumption of certain liabilities and approximately $4 million in working capital.

The sale is expected to be completed within 60 days.

Revere has its corporate headquarters in Baltimore, but the bulk of its 190 employees are scattered throughout the mid-Atlantic region.

Most of its 6,100 billboards are located in Philadelphia, Washington, Wilmington, Del., and Salisbury.

The company's only billboard in Baltimore is the Cal Ripken Nike ad on the wall of a Light Street building, according to Harry McCawley, Revere's chief financial officer.

McCawley said Revere also has advertisements on the side of Mass Transit Administration buses operating in the Baltimore area, as well as on MARC trains and the state's light rail system.

McCawley said it was too soon to determine how the purchase might affect Revere's 19 workers in Baltimore.

Universal said it expects Revere to generate approximately $34.5 million in revenue during 1996 and post earnings of $12.7 million before income tax and depreciation of assets.

"We believe the acquisition of the Revere assets affords us an excellent opportunity to establish a significant presence in prime East Coast markets," said Daniel L. Simon, president and chief executive.

McCawley said the sale is part of a major consolidation taking place within the outdoor advertising industry. He said Universal offered "an attractive price."

He said the name will likely change and that the Baltimore operations will probably be operated as a branch office of Universal.

Universal Outdoor Inc., a leading outdoor advertising company, operates approximately 21,100 billboards in 14 Midwestern and Southeastern markets.

Universal reported operating income of $24 million for the nine months ended Sept. 30, an increase of 96.7 percent over the like part of last year. Revenues rose to a record $44.9 million, up 76.8 percent over the first nine months of 1995.

Pub Date: 11/26/96

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