Media Technology M&A: Vizrt Acquires NewTek

Joe Zaller | April 1, 2019




Broadcast graphics and MAM specialist Vizrt said it will acquire all the shares of Texas-based integrated live production system specialist NewTek.

This is the second time in less than a week that broadcast graphics has been the subject of an M&A event.  Last week, Ross Video announced that it had acquired the Piero sports graphic business from Red Bee Media.

Terms of the deal were not disclosed, and the acquisition’s closing is subject to customary approvals, and subject to the disclosure requirements in section 5-12 of the Norwegian Securities Trading Act.

The combined company will have more than 700 employees worldwide.

NewTek was founded in 1986 by inventor Tim Jenison. Jenison’s Video Toaster®, the world’s first “television studio-in-a-box”, ignited the democratization of video production. In 2005, NewTek introduced TriCaster®, the most complete multi-camera video production system, giving content creators solutions to create their own network-level shows and stream them directly to audiences. More recently, became a leader in the move to IP-based broadcasting with its NewTek IP Series and NDI® (Network Device Interface) protocol.

According to Vizrt, “the combined companies emerge as the driving force in the transition to IP video for live production with NDI® and SMPTE 2110, with each serving different needs. The company will deliver flexible end-to-end workflows for all levels of production and software-based products and services for media, sports, entertainment, education, enterprise, and esports.”

At first glance this deal may appear curious given that Vizrt’s provides high-quality, high touch products for high-end applications such as news and sports graphics, while NewTek’s customers skew towards a different part of the market including education, corporate, worship, and local government.

Further, Vizrt uses a direct go-to-market approach through more than 50 direct sales people worldwide, while NewTek is primarily sold on an indirect basis via a third-party resellers such as dealers, distributors, and systems integrators.

So why would Vizrt purchase a company that operates in a different part of the market, and employs a channel-based go-to-market approach?

Perhaps it’s Newtek’s dealer channel and access to new market segments that Vizrt sees as the strategic reason for acquiring the company.

Indeed, Vizrt said in a statement: “The goal [of this transaction] is to make it possible for people to tell their story using video, whether they are a kid in a classroom or a tier-1 broadcaster.”

Vizrt, which was taken private in November 2014 by private equity (PE) firm Nordic Capital in a transaction valued at $374 million, sells to high-end broadcasters,  so the addition of the NewTek product line and distribution network should be almost entirely additive to Vizrt’s top line.  It’s also worth noting that many private equity firms have a 3-7 year time horizon before they exit an investment, so perhaps Nordic Capital are preparing for an even larger deal by bulking up Vizrt’s business and opening up new markets today.

Either way, this is a very interesting deal, and one that has interesting implications for the market… not to mention the rumour mill at the 2019 NAB Show, which is only a few days away.


Related Content:

Press Release: Vizrt acquires NewTek

Media Technology M&A: Ross Video Acquires Pierro Graphics from Red Bee Media

Broadcast Vendor M&A: Vizrt to be Taken Private in $374 Million All-Cash Deal 



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