Grass Valley sold to private equity firm led by former Avid CEO

The private equity firm Black Dragon Capital has agreed a deal to buy Grass Valley from Belden for an undisclosed fee.

The sale, which will be finalised during the first quarter of 2020, will transfer full control of all Grass Valley assets to Black Dragon.

Black Dragon Capital is led by Louis Hernandez Jr, a former chief executive of Avid. 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.

Hernandez, Jr. discussing the deal said: “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.”

Black Dragon is said to take an advisory approach to the companies in which it invests. It also delivers a series of proprietary tools, such as The Black Dragon Playbook, a set of guidelines 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.”

Grass Valley customers who are invested in current product lines will experience a seamless transition. Grass Valley maintains full control of the supply chain and operational systems, which enables on-going support without disruption.

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