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Lamar to Buy Outdoor Firm in $43 Mil. Deal

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DALLAS Lamar Advertising is continuing its expansion by acquiring transit ad specialist Obie Media Corp. in a deal valued at $43 million.

Lamar, based in Baton Rouge, La., is the nation's No. 3 outdoor advertising company with 25 percent of the market behind Viacom (32 percent) and Clear Channel (28 percent), said Keith Istre, chief financial officer.

Lamar operates 152 outdoor advertising companies in 43 states, several logo advertising businesses in 20 states and the province of Ontario, Canada, and 34 transit advertising franchises in 12 states.

Since going public in 1996, Lamar has spent about $5 billion in acquiring other companies, Istre said.

Obie Media, based in Eugene, Ore., sells advertising space on 38 transit systems in the U.S. and operates more than 1,100 billboards, the company said.

Both companies are publicly traded on the Nasdaq stock exchange.

Lamar will acquire all of Obie Media's outstanding stock for about $43 million, or $7 per share, and will assume Obie's $23 million debt, the companies said. The deal has been approved by the boards of both companies and awaits approval of Obie Media shareholders in January, the companies said.