December 18, 2013 (Pittsburgh and Sydney)
NEP Group Inc. (‘NEP’) announced today that it has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire GTV Holdings Pty Ltd (‘Global Television’ or ‘Global’) from Catalyst Investment Managers (‘Catalyst’). Financial terms were not disclosed. The transaction brings together US-based NEP and Australia’s Global Television, uniting two of the world’s most experienced and successful television technical services companies.
NEP is one of the largest broadcast and live event service companies with operations across the United States, United Kingdom, and Brazil, and supporting thousands of events annually around the world. The acquisition of Global Television further expands NEP’s presence into Australia and Asia. NEP is majority-owned by private funds managed by Crestview Partners, with a significant ownership stake held by NEP’s management team.
NEP CEO Kevin Rabbitt said, “Global Television has an outstanding reputation for excellence in live sports and light entertainment and is the clear leader in the Australian television market. Together, NEP and Global Television offer a much broader pool of expertise, resources, and facilities and extend NEP’s services worldwide, adding significant value for our clients and partners who work internationally. We are excited to work with Global’s CEO Keith Andrews and his management team to continue to grow their business.
“With the support of our private equity partner, Crestview Partners, we have expanded our geographic footprint and established NEP as a worldwide leader in the industry. The Global acquisition is an important step in that process.”
Global facilitates the majority of premium live sport produced and broadcast in Australia, and the most-watched live entertainment programs. Six of 2013’s highest-rating television shows were Global projects, including the top two: the My Kitchen Rules and The Block Sky High winner announcement episodes.
Global has also achieved international recognition for its technical expertise in host broadcasting, partnering with production companies and broadcasters to win major contracts, including the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games and 2014 G20 Leaders Summit in Brisbane.
Global will remain an independent operating entity based in Australia, led by Keith Andrews and his executive team.
Catalyst Managing Director Trent Peterson said, “Catalyst counts Global among our most successful investments, and we’ve been proud to work with Keith and his managers in achieving that.
“Global’s reputation for excellence is well understood in Australia. It’s a credit to Keith and his team that Global has been acquired by a much larger industry player with the reach and capability of NEP.
“We are especially pleased that Global is now part of an organization that shares its passion for great television and outstanding client service.”
Global Television CEO Keith Andrews added, “This is a great outcome for Global’s clients, staff, and partners. We’ve worked closely with NEP over the last four to five years on various major projects. The two organizations know one another well and I can confidently say we have similar cultures based on providing superior service to our clients.
“On behalf of the Global team, I thank our board of directors and Catalyst for their confidence in Global and their support as we’ve grown the company to its current level. We are all excited about the next chapter for Global Television as part of the NEP family.”
Combined with Global’s top-tier fleet of outside broadcast and studio facilities, NEP will offer over 70 high-definition (HD) outside broadcast units; several HD flypacks; studio facilities in Los Angeles, New York, London, Cardiff, Sydney, and Melbourne; thousands of plasma, LED, and projection video display solutions; as well as a large team of industry-leading engineering and technical experts.
The transaction is being financed entirely with debt arranged by Barclays and Morgan Stanley, and is expected to close in early 2014. AGM Partners LLC, Barclays and Morgan Stanley acted as financial advisors to NEP. Jones Day; Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP; and Kirkland & Ellis LLP acted as legal advisors to NEP. Greenhill provided corporate advisory services to Catalyst.
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Ratings source: OzTAM. All People, 5-city metro, average audience, weeks 1-47, 2013 Consolidated; week 48, Overnight.
Catalyst completed the privatisation of Global Television in January 2007. Before that the company was listed on the Australian Securities Exchange (ASX: GTV). Global Television was established in 1988, trading as Hoyts Television. More information is available at www.globaltv.com.au/company/global-tv-history.
About Global Television
Global Television brings content to life. They are Australia’s largest and most experienced outside broadcast and studio facilities company, providing broadcast infrastructure for major sport and studio productions across Australia. Global facilitates more than 2,000 hours of broadcast television each year, including live sport (NRL, AFL, Cricket), popular series and drama (My Kitchen Rules, The Voice, Big Brother, Neighbours) and live entertainment and event programs (Dancing with the Stars, The Footy Show and the annual Logie awards). Global also manages large host broadcasting requirements for international events such as the 2014 Glasgow Commonwealth Games. More information at www.globaltv.com.au.
Catalyst Investment Managers is a leading Australian mid-market private equity firm. Catalyst has completed more than 40 MBOs in Australia and New Zealand with a combined enterprise value in excess of A$3 billion. Catalyst makes investments in market leading businesses, with excellent management, robust cash flows and strong growth prospects. Catalyst has developed significant experience in investing in a wide range of industries in Australia and New Zealand including media and entertainment, retail and consumer products, mining services and other industrial sectors. Catalyst’s sale of Global to NEP follows its exit of EziBuy to Woolworths, and Moraitis Group to Chevalier, and the acquisition of Vesco Foods and Cirrus Media (formerly RBI Australia), all in 2013. For more information: www.catalystinvest.com.au.
Founded in 2004, Crestview Partners is a value-oriented private equity firm based in New York. The firm is led by former partners and leaders in the private equity business and senior management of Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley. Crestview’s investment strategy is focused in the media, financial services, energy and healthcare sectors.
NEP provides the technology and know-how to enable clients to produce the world’s most prestigious live and broadcast events around the globe. The company is the leading worldwide provider of outsourced production solutions offering technical services for remote production, studio production, video display, host broadcasting, post production, premium playout, smart asset / media management, and multi-screen delivery. NEP’s more than 3,000 employees are driven by passion and a focus on technical innovation, and together they have supported productions in over 65 countries on all seven continents. NEP is headquartered in the United States and has offices in 20 countries.