Stephen Adams (business)
|Born||1937 (age 76–77)
|Education||Yale University (1959), Stanford Graduate School of Business (1962)|
|Occupation||Private equity investor|
|Employer||Good Sam Enterprises, Adams Outdoor Advertising|
Stephen Adams (born 1937) is an American businessman and private equity investor. His current holdings include Good Sam Enterprises, a national publishing, retail stores, and member-based direct marketing organization directed toward owners of recreational vehicles and Adams Outdoor Advertising, an operator of outdoor advertising structures in the Midwest, Southeast, and Mid-Atlantic regions of the United States. His previous holdings have included operators of television and radio stations, print publishers, cola bottlers and community banks.
Adams was born in 1937 and was raised in Minnesota. Adams received a bachelor's degree in 1959 from Yale University, where he was a member of Skull and Bones.:180 He received his MBA from the Stanford Graduate School of Business in 1962.
As of the end of 2007, Adams served as chairman of the board of Affinity Group Inc., FreedomRoads and Affinity Bank, and is also chairman and the controlling shareholder of Adams Outdoor Advertising. He has been chairman of Affinity Group Inc., since its acquisition in December 1988 and chairman of Adams Outdoor Advertising since its founding in 1983.
Adams began his career in banking and soft drink bottling. Since the 1970s, Adams has served as chairman of privately owned banking, bottling, publishing, outdoor advertising, television and radio companies in which he holds a controlling ownership interest.
In 1982, he won a protracted fight to gain control of the Bank of Montana System. In 1984, Adams failed in a bid to take control of publicly traded Union Planters. Bank of Montana System was sold to Norwest in 1993.
Adams Outdoor was founded in 1983 with the acquisition of Central Outdoor Advertising, located in Michigan. Over the next five years, Adams pursued a rollup of billboard and other outdoor advertising assets into additional medium-sized markets, primarily through the acquisition of existing outdoor advertising businesses in selected midwest, southeast and mid-Atlantic states. Today the company is privately held, however in its final year of reporting public financials, 2000, the company had approximately $80 million of revenue. Since 2000, the company has increased its market position from the 6th largest outdoor advertising company in the US to the 4th largest behind Clear Channel Communications, Lamar Advertising Company, and CBS Outdoor Americas.
Television and radio investments
In 1992, Radio Group Corporation and Adams Radio of Charlotte, Inc., entities in which Stephen Adams was the chairman and controlling shareholder, consented to the appointment of receivers to effect a transfer of control of the radio operations of such entities as part of a consensual restructuring of the debt of such entities. In 1993, Adams Outdoor of Atlanta, Inc. (Adams Atlanta), a corporation controlled by Stephen Adams, entered into a consensual foreclosure agreement with its lenders. Adams Atlanta was acquired in 1988 in a leveraged transaction, and ownership was transferred to its secured lender in July 1993. In addition, in July 1993, a party whose claim was being disputed filed an involuntary bankruptcy petition against Adams Atlanta. The petition was withdrawn and dismissed three days after the filing.
Affinity Group Inc.
On December 23, 1988, the direct predecessor of Affinity Group Inc. (AGI), owned by Adams, acquired a company called American Bakeries Company for approximately $138 million . Adams was a noted private equity investor in the 1980s completing rollups of billboard assets to form Adams Outdoor Advertising and he also owns or has owned various banking, bottling, publishing as well as television and radio companies. At the time of the merger, the sole operating assets of American Bakeries Company were TL Enterprises, Inc. (Trailer Life magazine) and Camp Coast to Coast, Inc. These entities consisted of what is today the Good Sam Club, Coast to Coast, AGI’s subscription-based products and services business and AGI’s RV-related publications, with the exception of the Woodall’s titles.
From 1990 through 1997 AGI made a number of significant acquisitions that expanded AGI’s scale and presence. In 1990, AGI acquired Golf Card International, Inc. for approximately $18 million. Subsequently, in May 1994, AGI acquired Woodall Publishing Company, L.P. and Woodall World of Travel, L.P. (collectively Woodall’s) for approximately $11.5 million.
In 1995, AGI acquired San Francisco Thrift and Loan (founded in 1982) and the company’s headquarters were relocated to Ventura, California. In 1997 the bank was renamed Affinity Bank and in 1999, AGI transferred ownership to Affinity Bank Holdings, Inc. a separate entity controlled by Adams
In March 1997, as part of AGI’s $130.0 million offering of the holding company notes due 2007, AGI acquired Camping World, Inc. and Ehlert Publishing for approximately $123.0 million and $22.3 million, respectively.
On August 28, 2009, Affinity Bank was closed by the California Department of Financial Institutions and the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC]) was named Receiver. Pacific Western Bank of San Diego, California took over all deposit accounts, excluding certain brokered deposits. The closure was a result of Affinity’s depleted capital reserves due to defaults on commercial mortgages and construction loans. Regulators estimate the cost of the Affinity Bank failure at $254 million.
Adams has been actively involved in fundraising for Republican Party candidates. He reportedly contributed over $1 million of billboard advertising (through his Adams Outdoor Advertising business) to support George W. Bush's 2000 presidential campaign.
Adams currently serves on the board of visitors for the Yale School of Music. The Adams Family Foundation, founded by Adams and his wife, Denise, has made grants to a variety of educational institutions including Yale University, Stanford University, Westmont College, the Lyme Academy College of Fine Arts and The Blake School. Adams gave a $100 million gift to the Yale School of Music, the largest single contribution in the school's 108-year history to that point.
- Angelo, Jean Marie. "Neophyte publisher pumps $145 million into expansion; the company that put Chicago on the map takes on more regional and leisure-time titles" Magazine for Magazine Management, March 1989.
- Robbins, Alexandra (2002). Secrets of the Tomb: Skull and Bones, the Ivy League, and the Hidden Paths of Power. Boston: Little, Brown. ISBN 0-316-72091-7.
- Cuff, Daniel. Montana Bank Fight Ends as Head Resigns New York Times, May 27, 1982.
- American Casualty Co. of Reading, Pennsylvania vs. Bank of Montana System, Stephen Adams, Lloyd A. Amundson, Alfred T. Burke, Thomas R. Zorr, Joseph Friend, C. Robert Paciotti and Ester M. Devault v. CNA Financial Corporation, 675 F. Supp 538 (F. Supp 1987)
- Union Planters (New York Times, June 19, 1984)
- Union Planters (New York Times, June 19, 1984)
- "COMPANY NEWS; NORWEST SIGNS DEAL TO ACQUIRE BANK OF MONTANA SYSTEM". The New York Times. 1993-09-15. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2014-08-22.
- ADAMS OUTDOOR ADVERTISING FORM S-4/A (US Securities and Exchange Commission EDGAR filing system as filed June 5, 1996)
- TRAVEL AMERICA, INC., A DELAWARE CORPORATION, ET AL. (PLAINTIFFS) VS. CAMP COAST TO COAST, INC., A DELAWARE CORPORATION, ET AL. (DEFENDANTS), CASE NO. 789743 (SUPERIOR COURT OF CALIFORNIA, COUNTY OF ORANGE) June 14, 2000
- TRAVEL AMERICA, INC., A DELAWARE CORPORATION, ET AL. (PLAINTIFFS) VS. CAMP COAST TO COAST, INC., A DELAWARE CORPORATION, ET AL. (DEFENDANTS), CASE NO. 789743 (SUPERIOR COURT OF CALIFORNIA, COUNTY OF ORANGE) July 13, 2000
- Affinity Group Holding Inc. Business Information, Profile, and History
- Adams Outdoor Advertising
- Adams Honored with 2006 Arbuckle Award (Stanford Business Magazine, 2006)
- Affinity Bank - About Us page
- Just About Everything in the World You Would Ever Want to Know About Affinity Group’s Acquisition of Camping World (RV News Online, 1997)
- Affinity Group to Acquire a Retailer and a Publisher (New York Times, March 4, 1997)
- "APG acquires three newspaper divisions from ACM". Retrieved 2014-08-22.
- SIGNS ERECTED BY VENTURA BUSINESSMAN PUSH BUSH Los Angeles Times, November 6, 2000
- Stanford GSB, May 2000
- Yale School of Music gets $100 million (Yale Bulletin, October 25-November 1, 1999)
- Stephen Adams Honored with 2006 Arbuckle Award Stanford Graduate School of Business, February 2006
- Adams Honored with 2006 Arbuckle Award Stanford Business Magazine May 2006
- Affinity Group (official website)
- Affinity Bank (official website)
- Adams Outdoor Adveritising (official website)
- Camping World (official website)
- Affinity Group Holding Inc Company History (FundingUniverse.com)