Market Watch

Grass Valley Sale Completed

January 10, 2011

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Private equity firm Francisco Partners has completed its acquisition of Grass Valley Broadcast. The acquisition was completed on 31 December 2010 and follows the $100m binding offer made by Francisco Partners in July 2010. The sale includes a product portfolio covering much of the broadcast industry: from cameras and production switchers to automation and storage.

Grass Valley's transmission and head-end businesses are to be sold separately. Currently, PARTER Capital Group, another US private equity firm, has put forward a binding offer for the transmission business. The sale of the head-end business is still ongoing.

As reported by Screen Digest in July 2010, Grass Valley's financial difficulties underlie this acquisition. In particular, Grass Valley Broadcast suffered €52m of losses in 2009.

Despite these financial difficulties, Grass Valley Broadcast remains a top five company by revenue in a number of segments including system automation and communication infrastructure. Success will therefore depend on Francisco Partners' ability to reduce losses and make the most of Grass Valley's prominence in such segments.

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