Advanced Television

Black Dragon to acquire Grass Valley

February 4, 2020

Black Dragon Capital has completed an agreement with Belden in which it will acquire Grass Valley, a supplier of broadcast and media solutions for the production and distribution of content worldwide.

The deal, which will be finalised during Q1 2020, will transfer full control of all Grass Valley assets to Black Dragon, which plans to leverage Grass Valley’s intellectual property and talent to drive innovation and lead the industry’s migration to a software-based future. Current owner, transmission solutions specialist Belden, acquired Grass Valley for $220 million in February 2014.

In October 2019, Belden revealed its intention to divest the Grass Valley business. Announcing the company’s Q3 results John Stroup, CEO and Chairman of Belden, remarked: “We completed a rigorous strategic review of our portfolio of businesses, and today’s announcement marks an important outcome. We concluded that it is in the best interests of our shareholders, customers, and employees to separate Grass Valley from Belden. This will enable Grass Valley to more effectively execute its strategic plan and pursue growth opportunities. Further, this separation will simplify Belden’s portfolio and improve organic growth and revenue visibility.”

There are no immediate changes planned to Grass Valley’s operational management structure and Tim Shoulders will continue in his role as president.

Black Dragon’s founder and CEO, Louis Hernandez Jr, commented: “We see tremendous opportunity for transformation in the media technology market and believe that Grass Valley is in an ideal situation to lead the market through these changes. Under Belden’s leadership, the Grass Valley solutions portfolio has expanded and the business has developed a discipline that puts them in the upper quartile of the market in profitability. Black Dragon’s experience leading companies through digital transitions will allow Grass Valley to accelerate the next step in its evolution, bringing more innovative products to market faster.” Hernandez is a former CEO of Grass Valley rival Avid.

“Grass Valley has led the market in the transition from SDI to IP and has been diligently pivoting our product lines to cloud-based and SaaS solutions,” added Shoulders. “Black Dragon brings the expertise and vision that will allow us to accelerate this transition to the benefit of our customers who are looking for more robust and flexible models for content production and delivery. We’re excited to bring our customers along with us on this journey.”

Grass Valley said customers who are invested in current product lines will experience a seamless transition.

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