July 14, 2014 / 11:40 PM / in 4 years

Exclusive: U.S. billboard company Van Wagner explores sale - sources

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Privately held U.S. billboard company Van Wagner, which owns billboards in New York’s Times Square and on buses on the Las Vegas strip, is exploring a sale that could fetch more than $600 million, people familiar with the matter said.

Van Wagner is working with investment bank Evercore Partners Inc to assist with efforts to find a buyer, the people said on Monday, asking not to be named because the matter is not public.

The company, founded in 1971 by current Chief Executive Richard Schaps in New York, has displays on streets, bus stations, blimps, planes, and in parking garages. It generates revenue from brands that rent out space on their signs.

It also has digital signs, and a sports and entertainment unit that works with more than 200 professional and U.S. college teams for signs in arenas and other services, according to its website.

Larger rivals such as CBS Outdoor Americas Inc, which was spun off by CBS Corp earlier this year, and France’s JC Decaux could be interested in acquiring Van Wagner, one of the people said.

Van Wagner generates roughly $40 million to $60 million in earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization, and could sell for more than 10 times that amount, that person said.

Representatives for Van Wagner and Evercore Partners did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Reporting by Liana B. Baker in New York; Editing by Steve Orlofsky

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