Grass Valley acquired by Black Dragon Capital; private equity firm led by Louis Hernandez Jr

Private equity firm Black Dragon Capital, led by former Avid boss Louis Hernandez Jr, is to acquire broadcast manufacturing business Grass Valley from parent company Belden.

The deal comes after Belden put Grass Valley up for sale in October 2019 as part of a strategic review of the business.Black Dragon says it plans to make Grass Valley a market leader in digital media and open cloud technology.

Hernandez, ex CEO of Avid said: “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.” He added: “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,”

Grass Valley president Tim Shoulders and the senior Grass Valley team will remain in place. Hernandez will become executive chairman.“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,” Shoulders said.

John Stroup, president, CEO and chairman of Belden, 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 advisors involved in the Grass Valley acquisition include Hernandez; Mohamed Abuagla, former EVP and CTO of Al Jazeera; Dr. Andreas Bereczky, former SVP and CTO of ZDF Germany; Peter Neothen, CEO of Quest Media GMBH; Gary Bettan, CEO of Broadfield Distributing Inc; Sandy Nassari, Founder and CEO of Melrose Inc; Shengli Han, Vice Chairman of Beijing Jetsen Technology; Frank Capria, media product specialist; and Mo Hussein, media finance professional.

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. Black Dragon Capital focuses on making investments in technology companies.