Production Goliath In Play
Concert production powerhouse Production Resource Group has a new majority owner in venture capitalist Jordan Co., which bought a reported 65 percent stake in the company for $630 million in early August.
The new majority owner bought out the interest held by Boston Ventures. PRG, which handles lighting, audio and automation for events throughout North America, Europe and Asia, was founded by Jere Harris in the early ’80s.
Harris will remain on as CEO. He told the Daily Deal he plans to expand beyond lighting and audio to video and "we’ll be doing what we’ve done over the last six years, which is to prudently grow in the markets and products that we are in."
Jordan and PRG’s management have reportedly committed $305 million of equity to the deal.
"This is not a typical buyout, where management gets a small piece of the deal and the sponsor has control," Jordan managing principal Adam Max told the Deal. "In this case, we cannot do anything operationally or financially without management’s support, and vice versa. In that sense, it’s a true partnership."
PLSN editor Richard Cardena speculated that the buyout could "set off a whirlwind" throughout the production industry.
Unlike many venture capitalists, Jordan Co. claims it does not buy companies to reduce employees or sell off key assets for short-term profits. In other words, the purchase could mean a long-term expansion of an established company.