(Bloomberg) -- A fund managed by Blackstone Inc. is nearing an agreement to buy a majority stake in private billboard operator and owner New Tradition Media, according to people familiar with knowledge of the matter.

A transaction would value the out-of-home advertising firm at $500 million to $750 million, said the people, who asked not to be identified because the discussions are private. 

An announcement could come as soon as this month, the people said. Management including Chief Executive Officer Evan Richheimer and Chief Operating Officer Bret Richheimer will continue to run the company. The Richheimers are brothers. 

A spokesperson for Blackstone declined to comment. A representative for New Tradition, which has offices in New York and in Marina del Rey, California, didn’t respond to requests for comment. 

New Tradition was founded in 2010 and offers outdoor, digital and static billboards for marketing agencies and national consumers brands. The company, which has digital billboards in New York’s Times Square, said on its website that its out-of-home advertising services can lead to a 300% increase in campaign reach.

The deal gives Blackstone an entry into a US market led by public companies Clear Channel Outdoor Holdings Inc., Lamar Advertising Co. and Outfront Media Inc. An activist investor this week urged Clear Channel to divest assets and explore a sale. 

There’s been steady activity involving independent operators taking on outside investment over the last few years. In 2021, private equity firm Searchlight Capital Partners teamed up with British Columbia Investment Management Corp. to invest in Adams Outdoor Advertising in a $1 billion deal.

Bloomberg Intelligence Senior Industry Analyst Geetha Ranganathan said in a research note this month that outdoor advertising was decimated by the pandemic but has now surpassed its pre-pandemic highs. 

“Even given economic uncertainty, we believe in the growth potential of outdoor, which has been the most resilient traditional ad medium, particularly with a shift to digital displays,” Ranganathan said.

©2023 Bloomberg L.P.