NEP to Acquire Global Television From Catalyst

NEP Group announced that it has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire GTV Holdings Pty Ltd (Global Television) from Catalyst Investment Managers. 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,” he continued. “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.