Blue Equity has sold sports and entertainment platform BEST to Lagardere Unlimited for an undisclosed amount.
Blue Equity, LLC and Lagardere SCA announced today that the newly branded Lagardere Unlimited (www.lagardere-unlimited.com) has acquired BEST (Blue Entertainment Sports Television), the sports and entertainment affiliate owned and operated as a portfolio company of Blue Equity, LLC.
BEST is a unified, full-service sports and entertainment marketing, management and production firm. Since its initial acquisition of the tennis, events and television/media divisions from Live Nation (NYSE-LYV) in August 2006, and through its multiple acquisitions thereafter in football, college sports, basketball and experiential properties, BEST quickly established itself as one of the world’s leaders in the sports and entertainment management industry.
Formerly headquartered in Louisville, KY, BEST currently has several offices, including locations in New York City, Beverly Hills and Washington, DC. Its client roster consists of more than 400 professional athletes, entertainers and media personalities. Furthermore, BEST produces, owns and operates several high profile signature events and retains the television, production and distribution rights to several major sporting events worldwide. Through its experiential properties division, BEST also owns and operates renowned grassroots participatory sporting events throughout the U.S.
Lagardere SCA (PAR-MMB) is a leading global media group operating in more than 40 countries with 30,000 employees and is based in Paris, France. The Group is organized according to four distinct, complementary business lines, including Lagardere Active (owner of Hachette Filipacchi), Lagardere Publishing, Lagardere Services and Lagardere Unlimited (formerly known as Lagardere Sports). A specialist in the sports economy, Lagardere Unlimited has become a major player in the market through the integration of a portfolio of world-class companies: Sportfive, IEC in Sports, Upsolut, PrEvent and World Sport Group. Lagardere Unlimited specializes in the management of media and marketing rights, the organization of events and also owns and operates several major sporting events.
- “When we first began assembling this sports platform, our goals and objectives have been to build one of the most powerful sports and entertainment management and production companies in the world. Those goals and objectives have not changed and, today, we find ourselves closer than ever to reaching that status. I’m very pleased about our firm’s international position, and with the Lagardere acquisition, I am excited for what the future holds for our clients, partners and employees,” said Jonathan S. Blue, Chairman and Managing Director of Blue Equity, LLC.
- Arnaud Lagardere, Chairman of Lagardere SCA and CEO of the new Lagardere Unlimited added: “With the acquisition of BEST and the rebranding to Lagardere Unlimited, we are able to gain immediate market share in the representation and production sector and follow a direct path to continue with a goal of being the world leader in five years.”
The strength of the BEST platform, the experience of its key personnel and the depth of its North American presence provides Lagardere with an excellent vehicle for continued rapid growth and expansion. The acquisition of BEST, coupled with Lagardere’s deep resources and leadership in global sports media, marketing and production immediately establishes Lagardere Unlimited as one of the preeminent sports companies in the world.
Blue Equity, LLC (www.blueequity.com) is an independent, private equity firm investing both growth capital and business expertise in enterprises with solid development potential. Blue Equity forms strategic partnerships with existing management teams, leveraging expertise and relationships to stabilize, strengthen and grow lasting value. Investment efforts and managerial expertise are focused on the operation of a global and diversified portfolio of business enterprises, including opportunities in media, financial services, real estate and sports & entertainment. Blue Equity is dedicated to helping businesses grow by accelerating opportunity and driving innovation to the marketplace.
BEST – Blue Entertainment Sports Television (www.experienceBEST.com) BEST’s current clients include former Super Bowl MVP Santonio Holmes, Super Bowl Champion Reggie Bush, DeAngelo Hall, Darren Sharper, 2009 AP Offensive Player of the Year Chris Johnson and 2009 AP Offensive Rookie of the Year Percy Harvin; NBA All-Star Shawn Marion, projected 2010 #1 NBA lottery pick John Wall, 2009 NBA Lottery pick Ricky Rubio and 2009 NBA Sixth-Man of the Year Jason Terry; legendary ATP doubles team Bob and Mike Bryan, rising star Melanie Oudin, WTA #3 ranked Caroline Wozniacki and WTA #9 ranked Victoria Azarenka; top MMA heavyweight Fedor Emelianenko; basketball legend Magic Johnson; boxing legend Floyd Mayweather, Jr.; and entertainment personalities John Saunders, Jenn Brown and Matt Vasgersian. Media & Event properties include the US Open Tennis Championship, the French Open Tennis Championship, the Legg Mason Tennis Classic, numerous US-based ATP tournaments, Rock ‘n Racquets, the Boston Marathon, the Superstars Competition, Ice Wars, The Hall of Fame Showcase, the Men’s and Women’s Fifth Third Bank Tennis Championships and experiential grassroots properties Hoop It Up, Kick It and Let It Fly. http://www.experiencebest.com
Lagardere SCA (PAR-MMB) (www.lagardere.com) is a leading global media group operating in more than 40 countries with 30,000 employees and is based in Paris, France. The group is organized according to four distinct, complementary business lines, including Lagardere Active (owner of Hachette Filipacchi), Lagardere Publishing, Lagardere Services and Lagardere Unlimited. The company is also the controlling shareholder of EADS, best known as the manufacturer of Airbus equipment. Lagardere Active is a global leader in magazine publishing with more than 220 magazine titles including Elle, Paris Match, Car and Driver, Road and Track, et al. The company’s current sports operations specialize in the management of media and marketing rights, and the ownership and production of sporting events.