Black Dragon Capital Buys Grass Valley

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.

Private equity firm Black Dragon Capital will acquire Grass Valley, a leading technology supplier of advanced broadcast and media solutions, from Belden Inc. The transaction is expected to close after customary regulatory approvals. Terms were not disclosed.

Black Dragon, which makes control investments in growth companies it believes “can become market leaders in industries disrupted by digitization,” 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., its founder, managing director and CEO.

“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,” Hernandez said. “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.

“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 added.

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,” Shoulders said. “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.”


John Stroup, president, CEO and chairman of Belden Inc., said: “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 advisers 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 adviser; Gary Bettan, CEO of Broadfield Distributing Inc. and adviser; Sandy Nassari, Founder and CEO of Melrose Inc. and adviser; Shengli Han, vice chairman of Beijing Jetsen Technology and adviser; 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.

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