AUA Private Equity Partners has acquired Blue Star Media in partnership with Brian Crosby and Sanjay Syal, the company’s founder. Headquartered in Minneapolis, Minnesota, Blue Star is an event, media, and entertainment company specializing in consumer expos, events, and national touring shows and exhibits.
AUA Private Equity Partners (“AUA Equity”) is pleased to announce it has completed the acquisition of Blue Star Media (“Blue Star” or “the Company”) in partnership with Brian Crosby and Sanjay Syal, the company’s founder. Headquartered in Minneapolis, Minnesota, Blue Star is a leading event, media, and entertainment company specializing in consumer expos, events, and national touring shows and exhibits. AUA Equity’s strategic partnership with Brian Crosby and Blue Star’s founder will help accelerate growth by increasing the scale and presence of the “Discover the Dinosaurs” show in the United States and internationally, and expanding the Company’s portfolio of shows. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.
Since its inception, it is estimated that Blue Star has promoted more than 2,000 shows and events that have attracted more than 6 million visitors. The Company has an illustrious 20+ year track record as an owner, operator and promoter of consumer and business trade shows, expos and exhibits. The Company currently owns, operates and promotes “Discover the Dinosaurs”, a dinosaur-themed, children and family-oriented touring educational and entertainment exhibit and show that has held more than 200 events and been attended by approximately 2 million visitors since inception. Sanjay Syal, founder and CEO of Blue Star, will continue to lead the Company through its next stage of growth. In connection with the transaction, Peter Englehart will consult for the Company as Executive Producer and support Mr. Syal in executing the Company’s strategic growth initiatives. Mr. Englehart was most recently Chairman and CEO of Competitor Group, a leading consumer event, media and entertainment company serving the endurance sports industry, and has also worked at OLN and Speedvision Cable Networks, ESPN and ABC Television.
David Benyaminy, Partner at AUA Equity, said “Blue Star has a proven history of operating and promoting highly-successful events and shows, with “Discover the Dinosaurs” being one of the leading dinosaur-themed touring shows in the United States. We look forward to partnering with Sanjay and the team at Blue Star to build the company into a leading multi-concept event, media and entertainment platform and replicating our success of taking family-owned businesses to the next level.”
Sanjay Syal, CEO of Blue Star, said “We are excited to partner with AUA Equity, Brian Crosby and Peter Englehart as we embark on this new stage for our business. Their relevant operational expertise and AUA Equity’s real-life experience identifying advertising and sponsorship opportunities which target the Hispanic customer will be key strategic advantages for future growth.”
Brian Crosby, a private equity investor who previously was a co-founder and investor in Competitor Group, added “I am fortunate to have the opportunity to work with Peter Englehart again and look forward to partnering with AUA Equity and Sanjay Syal in continuing to build the strong capabilities and market presence of Blue Star.”
The AUA Equity deal team was comprised of Partner David Benyaminy and Associate Jack Lin who worked in conjunction with Brian Crosby and Peter Englehart. Bruce Behm of Minneapolis-based Quazar Capital Corporation acted as sell-side advisor. Lowenstein Sandler LLP, with a team led by Michael Brosse, provided legal advice to AUA Equity and Thomas Harlan of Madigan, Dahl & Harlan, PA provided legal advice to the seller.
About AUA Equity
AUA Private Equity is a New York-based, operationally-focused, lower middle-market private equity firm making control and significant minority equity investments in companies in the consumer, media, and business services sectors with a particular focus on U.S. Hispanic-oriented companies and/or family-owned businesses. AUA Equity is a next generation investment manager successfully capturing the rising tide of the evolving U.S. demographic landscape. The Firm makes equity investments in companies that generate in excess of $3 million in EBITDA.
For more information on AUA Private Equity, visit www.auaequity.com.
For more information on Blue Star Productions, visit www.bluestarshows.com/. For more information on Discover the Dinosaurs, visit www.discoverthedinosaurs.com/.