Infinity snares Outdoor Systems

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Infinity Broadcasting Corp., New York, agreed to acquire Outdoor Systems, Phoenix, for about $6.5 billion in Infinity common stock and the assumption of about $1.8 billion in debt. Outdoor Systems is the largest out-of-home media company in the U.S., and the deal makes Infinity the top player in outdoor advertising. Infinity, a subsidiary of CBS Corp., already operates Transportation Displays Inc., the No. 4 out-of-home media company in the U.S. Infinity also owns more than 160 radio stations and manages and retains equity in Westwood One, a radio network that provides formatted content for radio stations.

In a statement, Infinity Chairman-CEO Mel Karmazin said: "The acquisition of Outdoor Systems' outstanding portfolio of out-of-home media assets extends our reach and establishes Infinity as the undisputed leader in the outdoor advertising business.'' Arthur R. "Arte'' Moreno will remain president-CEO of Outdoor Systems, and he joins Infinity's board. William Levine, chairman of Outdoor Systems, will also join the board. William Apfelbaum, president and CEO of TDI, will retain his title as well, according to an Infinity spokesman. An Infinity spokesman said Outdoor Systems and TDI will continue as separate entities within Infinity. "They'll work together, but they'll remain as separate subsidiaries within the corporation,'' an Infinity spokesman said.

Copyright May 1999, Crain Communications Inc.

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