Carlyle Group assumes majority interest in NEP Group as Venus Williams joins NEP board

Carlyle Global Partners (CGP), The Carlyle Group’s private equity fund, has completed its acquisition of Crestview Partners’ remaining shareholding in the NEP Group. 

As part of the transaction, NEP also announced the company’s new board of directors. Among the three new members of the board is professional tennis player Venus Williams.

Carlyle initially invested in NEP alongside Crestview and Management in June 2016 and, following the closing on 19 October 2018, now holds a majority interest in NEP.

Carlyle will continue to support NEP’s strategy of growing its position as a leading worldwide outsourced technical production partner that enables premier content producers to make, manage and show the world their content.

Carlyle, a global alternative asset manager with $210bn in assets under management across 335 investment vehicles, has a long-term track record of successfully investing in growing media companies, as well as technology and business service companies. As of 30 June 2018, the firm had invested nearly $90bn in private equity transactions and $20bn across the technology and business services sectors alone.

Carlyle invested in NEP through the CGP long-duration fund, which Carlyle launched in 2014 to pursue opportunities that leverage its expertise, resources and global platform for investments that benefit from longer hold periods and structural flexibility.

The CGP fund’s ability to hold NEP for a longer period of time than a traditional private equity fund and its focus on long-term capital investment provides NEP with substantial available capital to support the company’s current and future growth strategy.

The three new members joining the NEP Board are:

  • Venus Williams, professional tennis player and Principal at EleVen by Venus Williams and VStarr Interiors. In 2007 Williams launched EleVen, a lifestyle business and brand of fashion-forward activewear, and in 2002 formed VStarr Interiors, creating designs for residential and commercial properties. Both businesses are supported by the same hard work, preparation, dedication, intuition and instinct that has made her one of the world’s top athletes. Williams is a business graduate of Indiana University East and a graduate of the Art Institute’s fashion design program.
  • Matthew Coles, vice president, The Carlyle Group. Coles has been with CGP since 2016 and previously worked in Carlyle’s European Buyout fund. Since joining Carlyle in 2010, Coles has been actively involved in investments across a number of industries and sectors including business services, industrials, consumer and financial services. He is a graduate of St. Peter’s College, Oxford University. Coles will serve on the board’s audit committee.
  • Patrick J Wilson, The Carlyle Group. Wilson has been with The Carlyle Group since 2013 and CGP since 2015. His experience at Carlyle includes multiple private equity funds, including Carlyle’s flagship buyout fund in Asia, Carlyle Asia Partners, and multiple sectors, including media, education, healthcare and industrials. He is a graduate of the University of Sydney’s Business School and Faculty of Law and received his Master of Applied Finance from the Securities Institute of Australia. Wilson will serve on the board’s audit committee.

Continuing on the NEP board of directors are six members:

  • Kevin Rabbitt, CEO of NEP Group, will continue to serve on the board and will assume the role of chairman.
  • Debra Honkus, co-founder of NEP and former chairman of the board, will continue to serve on the board and will assume the role of chairman emeritus.
  • Tyler Zachem, managing director of The Carlyle Group and co-head of the Carlyle Global Partners fund, will continue to serve on the Board. Zachem will chair the board’s compensation committee.
  • Ken Schanzer, retired President of NBC Sports, will continue to serve on the board and its compensation committee.
  • Mark Patricof, founder of Patricof Co, will continue to serve on the board and its compensation committee.
  • Fred Reynolds, retired CFO of CBS, will continue to serve on the board and chair the board’s audit committee.

“Carlyle has been an outstanding partner over the last two years, and we’re excited for the opportunity to continue our relationship,” said Kevin Rabbitt, CEO of NEP. “The industry expertise, global network and long-duration capital they provide are major assets to NEP as we move forward with our strategy to expand globally, broaden our service offerings and grow the business.

“I’m also looking forward to working with our new NEP board of directors.  We have an exceptional group of people, and I am personally excited that Venus has decided to join this group. Collectively, the board brings valuable and diverse experiences and perspectives to the table.”

Subscribe and Get SVG Europe Newsletters