Private equity buying Grass Valley


Technicolor announced that it has a binding offer from Francisco Partners to acquire the Grass Valley Broadcast business. The broadcasting equipment business is valued at $100 million in the deal and publicly traded Technicolor will book a loss on the sale.

According to Paris-based Technicolor, the Grass Valley Broadcast operation has 1,457 employees, operates in 23 countries and had 2009 operating revenues of about 272 million euros ($353 million). It had an operating loss of 52 million euros ($67.5 million) for the year.

Rather than paying any cash, Francisco Partners, a San Francisco-based private equity firm, will give Technicolor a promissory note for $80 million maturing in six years. Technicolor will also receive additional compensation based on future performance of the business. It will also leave 20 million euros of operating capital as the unit is divested.

Technicolor said the transaction is expected to c lose by the end of 2010.