Standard Parking wants to be the driving force in the parking industry -- and it likely is. The parking behemoth manages about 4,200 surface and multilevel parking facilities for airports, hospitals, hotels, local governments, office buildings, retail centers, sports venues, and universities in hundreds of cities throughout the US and Canada. Its airport facilities consist of parking and shuttle bus operations at more than 75 airports, including Chicago O'Hare and Dallas/Fort Worth International. Overall, Standard Parking provides more than 2.2 million parking spaces. In a sweeping move for the parking industry, Standard Parking acquired Central Parking Corporation, one of its biggest rivals, in late 2012.
Merging with Central Parking essentially doubled Standard Parking's operations in size, adding more than 2,200 locations and 1 million parking spaces to its portfolio across the country. After the deal closed in October 2012, Standard Parking assumed $210 million of Central Parking's debt, and Central Parking shareholders retained about 28% of the combined company. The new company is led by Standard Parking's CEO and continues to operate under the existing Standard Parking and Central Parking brands.
Acquisitions have consistently been a key element of the company's growth. In late 2010, Standard Parking acquired Expert Parking, a Philadelphia area parking management company that serves residential and commercial properties. The company also is interested in hospital and university parking facilities as promising growth opportunities.
During or after recession, one thing has always remained consistent: drivers will always need a place to park, and Standard Parking's stable balance sheet has reflected this. From 2009 to 2011, both its revenue and profit levels have steadily risen. The company operates about 90% of its facilities under management contracts; it leases the remainder. Not holding titles to its facilities allows the company to avoid the burdens -- and capital requirements -- of real estate ownership. Standard Parking hopes to grow by gaining contracts to manage more facilities within existing markets, thus spreading local administrative costs over a wider revenue base. In addition, the company is working to encourage more customers to sign up for ancillary offerings, such as shuttle bus and valet parking services.