Francisco Partners completes on Grass Valley buy
by Colin Mann

Broadcast and professional solutions supplier Grass Valley has confirmed that Francisco Partners, a leading technology-focused investment company, has completed the closing process with Technicolor and finalised the acquisition of the Grass Valley Broadcast and Professional business. As of January 1, 2011 Grass Valley began doing business as an independent company, under the trade name ‘Grass Valley’.

The terms of the sale include 100 per cent ownership of the current Grass Valley Broadcast & Professional business. This includes the camera, content repurposing, editing, master control, modular, news production, production automation, production switchers, routing, and video servers product lines including their entire product portfolios, the R&D centres and factories around the world, the Sales & Systems activities and Customer Support organisation worldwide, as well as the management and administrative support functions dedicated to the business.

The sale was agreed July 26 2010 by then owner Technicolor, and was described as “a key step” in the largest of the disposals it had decided to make as part of the strategic refocus of its activity portfolio.

At the time, Jeff Rosica, Senior Vice President and head of the Grass Valley Broadcast & Professional business, said the opportunity to be part of Francisco Partner’s portfolio gave Grass Valley a solid foundation to continue to work tirelessly to maintain its core values of innovation, performance, and passion that have benefited its customers throughout the years.

The news follows the announcement shortly before Christmas that Technicolor had received a binding offer from Parter Capital Group, a private equity investment consultancy firm based in Germany, to acquire its transmission business, operating under the Thomson Broadcast brand. A range of former Grass Valley business units were reorganised in three distinct activities: Broadcast, Transmission and Head-end, with a restructuring launched at the end of March 2010.

Technicolor also revealed December 29 hat it was to issue new shares worth about €213 million to pay back creditors after it failed to sell assets in its restructuring process fast enough.