Lamar Buys Marco Outdoor Advertising

Gail Chiasson, North American Editor

Lamar Advertising Co., Baton Rouge, Louisiana, has bought New Orleans-based Marco Outdoor Advertising, adding 150 billboards to Lamar’s large billboard portfolio.

Value of the all-cash deal was not disclosed.

Marco’s inventory, which includes six digital displays, is concentrated in New Orleans along the Pontchartrain Expressway and other city thoroughfares, along with signs on the north shore.

“I’ve enjoyed building Marco over the last 27 years and being part of the New Orleans corporate community,” says Marc Winston, owner of Marco, adding that he is glad to be able to hand off the business to another Louisiana company.

Lamar is transitioning into a real estate investment trust after getting clearance from the IRS in April. As a REIT, the company must pay out 90% of its taxable income to shareholders in dividends. The company said it expects its REIT status to be dated back to Jan. 1 of this year.

“This transaction is consistent with our strategy of adding high-quality, REIT-qualified billboard assets,” says Sean Reilly, Lamar CEO. “New Orleans is a hive of economic activity right now, which makes the Marco inventory a particularly attractive fit with our existing footprint there.”

Lamar operates more than 150 outdoor advertising companies in 44 states and logo businesses in 23 states and Canada.

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