SBJ/20090713/This Week's News

ANC Sports is acquired by Celeritas

ANC Sports, the marketing and venue signage company run by Jerry Cifarelli, has been purchased by Celeritas Management, an investment firm headed by longtime sports marketer Del Wilber.

Financial terms were not disclosed.

Under the terms of the deal, Cifarelli will remain ANC president and CEO and he retains a minority stake in the company that he founded in 1997, after 10 years at rotational signage pioneer Dorna.

ANC, which has 60 full-time and 120 part-time employees, and revenue of more than $60 million, is the second sports acquisition for Celeritas. The company purchased the Spanish Beisbol Network last September. Founded last year, Celeritas is owned by Palladium Equity Partners, whose most recent fund has $700 million in its coffers.

Wilber said he sees many avenues for expanding ANC’s businesses.

“They could really bridge the gap with some of their offerings, as far as that often-discussed melding of entertainment marketing and sports marketing,” he said. “I see additional opportunities in collegiate venues, overseas, and even in non-sports venues, in places like shopping malls.”


Celeritas also is evaluating additional acquisitions in entertainment, sports and in the Hispanic market.

“We are looking for solid businesses that may have been beaten up a little by the recession, or some businesses that just need a stronger balance sheet to get to that proverbial next level,” Wilber said.

ANC has its LED, rotational or fixed signage in more than 200 North American sports venues, including the Verizon Center in Washington, D.C., and the new Yankee Stadium. Cifarelli has been trying to raise capital to expand ANC’s business for several years. Fidus Partners was ANC’s investment bank.

Cifarelli said there are expansion possibilities for all three ANC divisions: technologies, design, and marketing, and that the additional capital will also allow ANC to consider its own acquisitions.

“We’ve been growing rapidly and profitably, we just think this will allow expansion in many new and different directions,” said Cifarelli, adding that the deal took six to eight months to complete.

The company will remain based in Purchase, N.Y.

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