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Searchlight Capital Partners and BCI Announce Strategic Investment into Adams Outdoor Advertising

Adams Outdoor Advertising is one of the largest out of home media operators in the U.S.

The partnership positions Adams to capitalize on the significant growth opportunity in the U.S. out of home advertising industry and across Adams’ local markets.

New York, September 20th, 2021: Searchlight Capital Partners, L.P. (“Searchlight”), a leading global private investment firm, in partnership with British Columbia Investment Management Corporation (“BCI”), one of the largest asset managers in Canada, today announced the signing of a definitive agreement for a strategic investment into Adams Outdoor Advertising (“Adams”). Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

Adams, founded in 1983 by Steve Adams, is the fourth largest, and largest privately-held, out of home media operator in the United States. The family-owned business has been instrumental in promoting the power of outdoor advertising by providing clients with bespoke media solutions to target audiences at the local level. Adams operates in a number of strategically relevant local markets across the states of Illinois, Michigan, North and South Carolina, Pennsylvania, Virginia and Wisconsin.

“Out of home plays an important role in the infrastructure of the advertising ecosystem, particularly given the unique and differentiated capabilities that the medium offers for local businesses, governments and economies,” said Darren Glatt, Partner at Searchlight. “As one of the leading investors in the media and technology sectors, Searchlight has been at the forefront of the ongoing evolution of the broader advertising ecosystem. We believe Adams is strongly positioned to continue to capture opportunities presented by the digital transformation of its estate. We look forward to working with Kevin Gleason and his team to further drive Adams’ growth through (i) expanding its footprint, (ii) developing new digital sites, (iii) capitalizing on emerging opportunities around programmatic and technology innovation and (iv) executing on strategic M&A.”

Dave Hong, Senior Managing Director, Private Equity at BCI, added: “We are excited to work with Kevin Gleason, his management team and Searchlight to support the company’s growth. Our investment in Adams aligns with BCI’s long-term investment approach of investing in stable industries that provide compelling risk-adjusted returns for our pension plan and insurance fund clients.”

Kevin Gleason, CEO of Adams, added: “We are delighted to partner with Searchlight and BCI to support Adams’ continued growth and to accelerate the development of our capabilities across various forms of emerging technology. We have always believed that outdoor advertising is more powerful than anyone has yet to imagine and believe that Searchlight’s demonstrated track record in the out of home and media sectors positions us to unlock that power and value for our clients and investors. We are thankful for the support of Searchlight and BCI and are confident that this marks the start of an exciting next chapter for our business, employees and local partners.”

Searchlight was advised by Barclays and Latham & Watkins. Weil, Gotshal & Manges served as separate legal counsel to BCI. Adams Outdoor Advertising was advised by PJ SOLOMON and Kaplan, Strangis and Kaplan.


Searchlight Capital Partners UK, LLP is registered with the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA)
for its activities in the UK and EU.