Link Media Outdoor, a division of Boston Omaha Corp., has purchased the billboard holdings of Waitt Co. of Omaha for $82 million.
The purchase doubles Link’s signage, making it among the 10 largest U.S. billboard companies, said Jim McLaughlin, Link’s chief executive.
Waitt Outdoor, founded in 1999, had about 1,600 structures and 2,500 advertising “faces” in Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Missouri and Nebraska. Link now has about 2,900 structures and 5,400 faces in those states plus Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Virginia, West Virginia and Wisconsin.
Mike Delich is retiring as CEO of Waitt Outdoor, and the 30 other Waitt employees will join Link, bringing its employment to about 100, McLaughlin said. It was the third acquisition by Link in the past month.
John Schuele, CEO of Waitt Co., said the company had planned to keep the billboards for several more years but put them on the market because prices were rising. Link’s offer was attractive because of the price and because it will retain the division’s staff, he said.
Adam Peterson of Omaha, co-president and co-CEO of Boston Omaha, said the investment conglomerate also owns Surety Insurance Co. and is an investor in Logic Commercial Real Estate of Nevada, Dream Finders Homes in Florida and Crescent Bank in Louisiana.
Peterson said the company plans to invest in a wide range of businesses. Boston Omaha had $238 million in cash at the end of June.
Boston Omaha’s other co-president and co-CEO is Alex Rozak of Boston, whose grandmother, Doris Buffett, is the sister of Omaha businessman Warren Buffett. Waitt’s majority owner is Norman Waitt, a co-founder of Gateway Computers.