Black Dragon Capital to Acquire Grass Valley from Belden Inc.
Black Dragon, which makes control investments in growth companies it believes can become market leaders in industries disrupted by digitization, has significant experience in media technology, and plans to accelerate Grass Valley's evolution to being the market leader in digital media and open and inclusive cloud technology, according to Louis Hernandez Jr., Founder, Managing Director and CEO of Black Dragon.
"Grass Valley has an iconic brand, track record of strong performance, superb clients and products that compete in the top tier in every category they're in. We are excited and honored to work with Grass Valley's leadership team, partners and resellers to take the company to the next level with a cloud-enabled, software-based business model, and cement its role as the standard bearer for the future of digital media," Hernandez said.
"We're excited by the opportunity Grass Valley has to lead in an industry where other heritage brands have struggled. Grass Valley's investments in cloud-based and Software as a Service (SaaS) solutions are promising. We believe the combination of a broad product suite, a great team and the direction of the market will make Grass Valley the partner of choice as the digitization of the space accelerates. While Belden won't retain any ownership or have an impact on operations, we are pleased that they will remain a close, long-term collaborative partner, which will ensure a smooth transition," Hernandez said.
Grass Valley President, Tim Shoulders, and his senior team will continue to lead the company. Hernandez will become Executive Chairman and, along with selected Black Dragon colleagues, will work with Grass Valley leaders on strategy, execution, client relations and the accelerated expansion to a cloud-based subscription model.
"We are excited about this new phase for Grass Valley. Black Dragon's experience and vision will help us accelerate our move to cloud-based and SaaS solution product lines that will please customers seeking the most robust and flexible models for content production and delivery. We are delighted to be embarking on this journey with our customers and Black Dragon," Shoulders said.
Said John Stroup, President, CEO and Chairman of Belden Inc., "We are very pleased to partner with Black Dragon Capital. Their deep media-related expertise, proven track record and relationships in the broadcast community make them the perfect partner to drive Grass Valley to the next level. We are excited to be part of the partnership."
Black Dragon takes an operationally led and thesis-driven approach to making investments and working with portfolio companies. Investments are based on the firm's significant understanding of the impact of digitization on workflow, technology, economics and human factors driving in the digital landscape. Black Dragon principals and advisors are engaged participants in the industries and companies in which they invest, and they work closely with the portfolio companies to create market leaders.
The Black Dragon principals and advisors involved in the Grass Valley acquisition include Hernandez; Mohamed Abuagla, former EVP and CTO of Al Jazeera and Advisor; Dr. Andreas Bereczky, former SVP and CTO of ZDF Germany and Advisor; Peter Neothen, CEO of Quest Media GMBH and Advisor; Gary Bettan, CEO of Broadfield Distributing Inc. and Advisor; Sandy Nassari, Founder and CEO of Melrose Inc. and Advisor; Shengli Han, Vice Chairman of Beijing Jetsen Technology and Advisor; Frank Capria, media product specialist; and Mo Hussein, media finance professional. Several other executives who worked at Avid with Hernandez were involved in the company assessment and strategy. The Black Dragon transaction team was led by Tim Greenfield, Partner, and Dan Consigli, Partner and CFO.
Cowen and Company served as advisor on the transaction, and Greenberg Traurig LLP served as legal counsel.
Belden Inc. delivers a comprehensive product portfolio designed to meet the mission-critical network infrastructure needs of industrial and enterprise markets. With innovative solutions targeted at reliable and secure transmission of rapidly growing amounts of data, audio and video needed for today's applications, Belden is at the center of the global transformation to a connected world. Founded in 1902, the company is headquartered in St. Louis and has manufacturing capabilities in North and South America, Europe and Asia.
About Black Dragon Capital
Black Dragon Capital, LLC ("BDC") is a minority founder led private equity firm making control investments in technology companies. BDC was formed by technology operating executives with a track record of building market-leading companies and providing above market investment returns.
About Grass Valley
Grass Valley's end-to-end ecosystem of reliable, open standards-based solutions helps content creators, broadcasters and media organizations to produce brilliant content and build successful media businesses. Our award-winning technology and trusted industry expertise empower our customers to create captivating experiences that connect people anywhere, on any device, through the magic of media.
As the industry's R&D powerhouse, with the most comprehensive suite of solutions for compelling live content, we are the trusted partner to many of the biggest and most creative names in the media and entertainment business.
We help our customers transition to IP and cloud-based infrastructures to enable flexible, scalable and smart workflows. Our advanced solutions enable the production of rich, high quality content that brings the viewer closer to the action; engages them with the story and connects them with each other. Headquartered in Montreal, Grass Valley has been in the broadcast business for 60 years and is part of St. Louis-based Belden Inc.