Grass Valley has been acquired by Black Dragon Capital, a company led by former Avid CEO

Logos of Grass Valley and Black Dragon

Private equity firm Black Dragon Capital will acquire the entirety of Grass Valley, technology supplier of advanced broadcast and media solutions, from Belden Inc. (NYSE: BDC). The transaction is expected to close after customary regulatory approvals.

Black Dragon, which makes control investments in growth companies it believes can become market leaders in industries disrupted by digitization, has significant experience in media technology, and plans to accelerate Grass Valley’s evolution to being the market leader in digital media and open and inclusive cloud technology, according to Louis Hernandez Jr., Founder, Managing Director and CEO of Black Dragon.

“Grass Valley has an iconic brand, track record of strong performance, superb clients and products that compete in the top tier in every category they’re in. We are excited and honored to work with Grass Valley’s leadership team, partners and resellers to take the company to the next level with a cloud-enabled, software-based business model, and cement its role as the standard bearer for the future of digital media,” Hernandez said.

“We’re excited by the opportunity Grass Valley has to lead in an industry where other heritage brands have struggled. Grass Valley’s investments in cloud-based and Software as a Service (SaaS) solutions are promising. We believe the combination of a broad product suite, a great team and the direction of the market will make Grass Valley the partner of choice as the digitization of the space accelerates. While Belden won’t retain any ownership or have an impact on operations, we are pleased that they will remain a close, long-term collaborative partner, which will ensure a smooth transition,” Hernandez said.

Grass Valley President, Tim Shoulders, and his senior team will continue to lead the company. Hernandez will become Executive Chairman and, along with selected Black Dragon colleagues, will work with Grass Valley leaders on strategy, execution, client relations and the accelerated expansion to a cloud-based subscription model.

“We are excited about this new phase for Grass Valley. Black Dragon’s experience and vision will help us accelerate our move to cloud-based and SaaS solution product lines that will please customers seeking the most robust and flexible models for content production and delivery. We are delighted to be embarking on this journey with our customers and Black Dragon,” Shoulders said.

Said John Stroup, President, CEO and Chairman of Belden Inc., “We are very pleased to partner with Black Dragon Capital. Their deep media-related expertise, proven track record and relationships in the broadcast community make them the perfect partner to drive Grass Valley to the next level. We are excited to be part of the partnership.”

The Black Dragon principals and advisors involved in the Grass Valley acquisition include Hernandez; Mohamed Abuagla, former EVP and CTO of Al Jazeera and Advisor; Dr. Andreas Bereczky, former SVP and CTO of ZDF Germany and Advisor; Peter Neothen, CEO of Quest Media GMBH and Advisor; Gary Bettan, CEO of Broadfield Distributing Inc. and Advisor; Sandy Nassari, Founder and CEO of Melrose Inc. and Advisor; Shengli Han, Vice Chairman of Beijing Jetsen Technology and Advisor; Frank Capria, media product specialist; and Mo Hussein, media finance professional. Several other executives who worked at Avid with Hernandez were involved in the company assessment and strategy. The Black Dragon transaction team was led by Tim Greenfield, Partner, and Dan Consigli, Partner and CFO.

Cowen and Company served as advisor on the transaction, and Greenberg Traurig LLP served as legal counsel.

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