Black Dragon Capital, a private equity firm, led by former Avid CEO Louis Hernandez Jr., has completed an agreement with Belden Inc. in which it will acquire Grass Valley, the supplier of broadcast and media solutions. The deal, which will be finalised during Q1 2020, will transfer full control of all Grass Valley assets to Black Dragon, which says it plans to leverage Grass Valley’s intellectual property and talent to drive innovation and lead the industry’s migration to a software-based future.
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.”
In his time as CEO of Avid, Hernandez spearheaded a strategy to transition the company’s core product offerings to solutions that enabled smooth and simple content sharing and distribution workflows. Black Dragon, noting that today’s broadcast landscape is in need of a similar shift, says it sees Grass Valley as a platform to accelerate the industry’s move toward its digital future, increasing investment in technologies and systems that enable new software-based services and pay-as-you-go business models.
According to Black Dragon, the equity firm takes an advisory approach to the companies in which it invests, and delivers a series of proprietary tools, such as its Black Dragon Playbook, a set of guidelines designed to create sustainable, market-leading companies. Additionally, the firm has an extensive roster of advisors with a combined century-plus of experience in engineering, content creation, business management and technology leadership in the media space.
“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,” said Tim Shoulders, Grass Valley’s president. “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.”
According to Grass Valley, customers who are invested in current product lines will experience a seamless transition. Grass Valley says it maintains full control of the supply chain and operational systems to enable on-going support without disruption.