T.E.I. Outdoor Media Group – OMG – began as a “fluke” in the summer of 1995 as T.E.I.’s owner, Doug Traina, was driving down I-75 and saw a billboard advertised for lease. When he called to inquire, Doug was shocked at the going rate for billboard advertising, so instead of leasing a billboard he pursued the idea of ownership. After much research, T.E.I. acquired Patriot Outdoor Advertising, a company in bankruptcy.
The business philosophy of Patriot was actually sound and quite unique – to buy land, build the billboard structure, then sell the surrounding land and retain ownership of the “land site” upon which the structure sits. In this manner, Patriot could manage to acquire billboard structures virtually free.
This philosophy was time-consuming, costly in terms of real-estate investment required, and much more difficult than simply finding small land sites to lease and build structures (typical industry philosophy). Patriot found themselves owning too much land, with too little income, hence the bankruptcy.
T.E.I. saw the value in this unique approach and had the capital resources necessary to perfect it. Patriot was acquired and OMG born, growing from the original 5 structures – 10 faces, to a total of 35 structures – 70 faces, in 1999.
During an industry roll-up of that year, Outdoor Systems (now Viacom, a large outdoor advertising company with more traditional approach for acquiring structures) made an aggressive offer to purchase the assets of OMG, and T.E.I. accepted in October 1999. OMG’s investment in land and structures was $3 mm at that time, which was sold to Outdoor Systems for $5.5mm. Better yet, OMG retained the ground leases on 30 land sites for 40 years with annual revenues of $367,000 plus CPI increases of several points each year and now in excess of 500k this land income was the foundation for T.E.I. Real Estate Division.
By early 2005 OMG had rebuilt its assets to 21 structures (44 faces for lease), and again executed a planned and very profitable sell-off strategy to Olympus Media. Once again, OMG retained all the billboard land sites and made ground leases with Olympus for 40 years with guaranteed annual revenue adding to the Real Estate Division.
OMG’s key employee, Charles Dixon, was named Vice President of the division and made a full partner in 2000. T.E.I.’s mission for OMG is to continue growing the business, purchasing land and building structures.
In 1995 T.E.I. began selling boats and in so doing helped to grow its slip rental business at a faster pace. The company concluded that the way to faster growth was through strategic planning of building and filling slips. This was done by purchasing and then selling boats with the necessary slip requirements that go along with the sale.
In 1998 T.E.I. had a piece of unsold land on Cobb pkwy in Kennesaw as a by product of a billboard deal. This piece of real estate turned out to be the perfect location for Park Marine Boating centers. Our second location was an existing boat dealership purchased in 2000 and two more boat dealerships were acquired to give T.E.I. the top boat lines in Atlanta. Adjacent properties to both locations were bought and held for future growth.
- 25 sign structures
- 78 sign faces
T.E.I. Real Estate:
- Kennesaw boat sales location 2.5 acres
- Adjacent to Kennesaw store, 1 acre Gainesville boat sales location 3 acres
- Adjacent land now being used for Boat Sales, 1 acre
- 40 parcels of land under various leases for billboards generating 550,000 annually with a rate increase built in each year.
- Various other tracts of land