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Acquired Taste Who says you have to build your company from the ground up? A solid acquisition strategy could be a recipe for faster, more profitable growth.

By David Worrell

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

Lately, Seth Lippert and Sergio Fernandez de Cordova have been on a shopping spree. It's not exactly what they set out to do, but the co-founders of New York City-based outdoor advertising company Fuel Outdoor LLC accessed millions of dollars to fly coast to coast to snap up their older, larger competitors--plus the billboards, employees and customers that those competitors have been amassing for decades.

In 2002, when the pair quit working for the media company at which they had met, Lippert, now 31, and Fernandez de Cordova, now 32, did not know that in the next year, they would launch a company that would change the face of outdoor advertising nation-wide. In fact, they struggled to secure more than $25,000 from an angel investor to purchase their first billboard lease: the side of a building near Madison Square Garden. For two years, the two men went door-to-door in Manhattan, learning the trade and growing as quickly as they could on a shoestring budget. Their eventual spate of acquisitions was not yet on their radar.

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