With the purchase from Belden, the private equity firm, led by Louis Hernandez Jr., says it aims to accelerate Grass Valley’s evolution to market leader in cloud-based media technology.
Belden said today it plans to divest its Grass Valley business. The company has retained JP Morgan to manage the sale process and is actively engaged with several parties. The news came as the company announced third quarter earnings; it is now reporting all Grass Valley-related revenues as “discontinued operations.”
The top executives of Arista Networks, Imagine Communications, MediaKind and Belden describe a tough selling market as broadcasters try to maintain an eroding linear TV business while investing significant dollars in new digital platforms that are still largely unprofitable.
Sales of most media technology companies are basically flat while their R&D and marketing costs continue to run high, forcing some to reexamine how they sell in a traditionally demanding and rapidly changing market. Above, a Vizrt virtual set demonstration this week at the NAB Show.
Last year, Stroup took part in a technology supplier CEO panel discussion moderated by Joe Zaller of Devoncroft Partners. In it, they covered a range of topics including the structure of the media technology industry, the economic performance of technology vendoirs, the demand environment in the media technology industry, the benefits of achieving economic scale, and the inevitable consolidation of technology suppliers.
Last week, Belden / Grass Valley announced it had closed the acquisition of Snell Advanced Media without listing the price. Yesterday, Belden said in a filing with securities regulators that it paid $75.8 million plus the assumption of $18.4 million of debt for a company it acquired on Feb. 8 (the same day it confirmed the SAM acquisition).
Belden today closed the acquisition of Snell Advanced Media. Terms of the deal were not disclosed. The deal makes Grass Valley one of the largest media technology suppliers.
The 1,700 companies that populated last week’s NAB Show exhibition continued to experience relatively slow growth in the aggregate in 2016. But they look forward to spending resulting from the spectrum repack, ATSC 3.0 and the much discussed transition to IP.
Upbeat reports by Belden, EVS, Avid and other tech vendors in the second quarter cheered investors and may mark a turnaround in a market that had been struggling to keep pace with powerful technology trends like the move toward IP and the shifting demands of their TV customers. In addition, many feel the market may also get a boost from deployment of 4K and other advanced picture formats and new customers in the market.
John Stroup, Belden’s CEO, says the existence of multiple, competing IP protocols to transport video, audio and data is an indication of a fundamental failure in the TV industry, and broadcasters are savvy enough to recognize it. “What they want is really simple. They want one standard, and they want everyone to compete on quality, cost and features that hook up to that standard.”
Belden announced that it has completed the acquisition of the previously announced offer to purchase Grass Valley. When the deal was announced in February, Benden CFO Henk Derksen told equity analysts that the $220 million deal would be funded with existing cash. Derksen told analysts at the time of the announcement that Belden plans “to invest approximately $25 million during the first 12 months of integration largely through restructuring efforts to capture the value of the combined company.
The CEO of Imagine Communications (formerly Harris Broadcast) says the company will “out-innovate” its chief rival, Belden’s Grass Valley. Charlie Vogt says Imagine “is moving into a very dynamic software environment and I’m not sure that that is in the DNA” of Belden. He also says Imagine will be “bold and agressive” in acquiring smaller companies that round out its product line.
Belden CEO John Stroup details the strategy behind its purchase of Grass Valley, the integration of its broad line of television production, signal distribution and acquisition technology into Belden and its Miranda operation and what he sees as the market opportunities.
“When combined with Miranda, the resulting end-to-end solution will be the most complete and compelling in the industry,” Belden says in an earnings report released this morning. Belden purchased Miranda in 2012.
Vendor consolidation was one of the most discussed topics at the annual Amsterdam tech conference, although no new deals were announced there. Other hot topics: new products and services based on cloud technology, multi-platform content delivery; social media services; Sony/SES Astra’s 4K demo; and channel-in-a-box.
Miranda Technologies has agreed to approve Belden’s offer to purchase all outstanding common shares of Miranda by way of a takeover bid at a price of $17 per share in cash.
Its just-announced purchase of Miranda positions it to exploit the explosion in TV production and distribution, says CEO John Stroup. Miranda expects the deal will give it resources to expand through internal development and through acquisition. It has an “active acquisition list” that includes companies that have “different solutions that might mesh well with our playout and product solutions,” says Miranda’s Kevin Joyce.
Belden Inc. announced today that it has agreed to acquire Miranda Technologies Inc., a Montreal-based maker of broadcast equipment,for approximately $332 million in cash.