PAI Partners, a leading European private equity firm headquartered in Paris, has made a binding offer to purchase Euro Media Group (EMG), Europe’s leading provider of audiovisual facilities and services. EMG’s founders and original shareholders, including Sofinim (Ackermans & van Haaren group) and Banijay Holding, will reinvest alongside PAI Partners in the proposed transaction, together with the senior management team.
Created in 1983 as Euro Television by Chantal Barry, Jean-Pierre Barry and Luc Geoffroy, EMG offers a large range of services to broadcasters and producers for the production and delivery of audiovisual content: studios; outside broadcasting trucks; media centers; and specialised services such as ultra-slow motion, wireless transmission, aerial cameras or digital content management systems.
The Group has grown quickly, initially through acquisitions in France, including the State-owned Société Française de Production in 2001, and then in the rest of Europe, notably with the transformational merger with Dutch company UBF Media Group in 2007, which doubled the size of the Group, making EMG the leader in Europe with the largest fleet of outside broadcasting trucks and the largest studio capacity.
EMG is the first choice provider of audiovisual services for large events, such as the recent Winter Games, the Fifa World Cup, the Tour de France or the Monaco Grand Prix.
“This Partnership with PAI is a major step for EMG and will benefit both our customers and employees”, explainedThierry Drilhon, EMG’s CEO. “This is a tremendous opportunity for our group to accelerate our international development, increase our capacity to deliver new services, capture new business opportunities in the market and develop our leadership around innovation.”
Nicolas Holzman, partner at PAI, added: "PAI is proud to become the majority shareholder of EMG and to partner with its management team and main shareholders. Our common goal is to enable EMG to reinforce its European leadership, through further acquisitions and the development of new services, and become a truly integrated group with best in class financial performance.”
Jean-Pierre Barry, founder and Chairman of the Board, commented on the transaction: “Our policy for Euro Media Group has always been to focus on a dynamic, entrepreneurial growth path as we believe this is the only way to achieve a healthy balance sheet and safeguard jobs. This growth is driven by technological innovation and diversification as well as by business development through the addition of new activities and expanding our geographical presence.
“I am pleased to announce that following constructive negotiations we have reached agreement with PAI on a close partnership giving us access to new financial resources, which, I am convinced, will place our group a solid footing as we move forward with plans to accelerate our development. The future looks bright.”
The offer and transaction remain subject to certain conditions, including consultation of Euro Media France’s workers council and authorisation from the competition authorities in Brussels. The transaction is expected to be finalised in the second quarter of 2014.
EMG’s shareholders were advised by Banque Hottinguer, Bredin Prat and Ricol Lasteyrie. PAI was advised by Ernst & Young and Willkie Farr & Gallagher LLP.