Central Parking then and now

Shareholders of Chicago-based Standard Parking will vote Tuesday to approve the company's planned acquisition of Central Parking, which was worth about $350 million when it was announced in March. That prompted to take a look through the Standard's proxy to see how Nashville-based Central Parking has changed since May of 2007, when a trio of private-equity firms took control of the parking giant. The short answer is that it's a smaller, much less indebted company but one that still isn't making money: Through the first six month of its current fiscal year, total revenues came in at $394 million, about 10 percent less on an annualized basis than in its first fiscal year after going private. The company has lost $190 million in the last four and half of years, the vast majority of which was from impairment charges in fiscal 2010 and 2011. The company's debt load, which stood at almost $660 million in 2007, has shrunk by more than two-thirds.

Away from the balance sheet, two other indicators struck us as interesting. Central Parking's employee base stood at roughly 14,000 this spring, down from almost 19,000 in the fall of 2006 — a small piece of that is due to the sale of its Canadian operations in early 2008 — and the company's portfolio of facilities has held steady in recent years as the sale of owned facilities was offset by more managed contracts. But the total number of facilities being handled by Central Parking employees is down 35 percent from 2004.