Spire Capital has sold Colorado-based bull-riding circuit Professional Bull Riders Inc to Silver Lake-backed WME/IMG. No financial terms were disclosed.
NEW YORK, May 18, 2015 /PRNewswire/ — Spire Capital, a lower middle market focused private equity firm specializing in investments in the business services, information services, education, media and communications sectors, announced the strategic sale of Professional Bull Riders Inc. (“PBR” or the “Company”), the world’s premier bull riding circuit, to WME|IMG.
With more than 300 bull riding events globally each year, attended by over 3 million people, the PBR is the fastest growing sport in the United States. Headquartered in Colorado, PBR reaches more than 550 million households in more than 40 countries, and is led by Chairman and CEO Jim Haworth.
Sean White, Partner at Spire Capital, said, “We are grateful to our management team, riders, bull athletes and fans for all of their continued support of the PBR. We believe that the sport is poised for continued explosive growth for years to come.”
“Our many passionate and dedicated partners in this amazing sport helped us have a great eight year ride. WME|IMG’s leadership will have all of us cheering for the PBR for years to come,” said Rick Patterson, Partner at Spire Capital.
“The team at Spire Capital was an integral part of our success. They were very knowledgeable about the sports industry and helped us with sponsorships, event venues, as well as our television contract,” said Haworth. “Going forward, the acquisition by WME|IMG will allow our organization to continue its expansion worldwide, and bring our top-quality events to the masses”.
Bull riders from all over the globe compete on the elite PBR Built Ford Tough Series, the BlueDEF Velocity Tour, the Touring Pro Division, and the PBR international circuits in Australia, Brazil, Canada and Mexico. The PBR was founded in 1992 by a group of 20 visionary bull riders who sought mainstream attention for the sport.
Terms of the transaction were not disclosed. PBR and Spire Capital’s financial and legal advisors were Evercore and Dentons US, LLP, and WME|IMG was advised by The Raine Group and Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP.
About Professional Bull Riders
Professional Bull Riders, Inc. (“PBR”) is the leading major league sports franchise for bull riding in the world. PBR operates major and minor league bull riding tours with the top domestic professional level events held as part of the Built Ford Tough Series. PBR is the fastest growing sport in the United States with more than 300 bull riding events globally each year, attended by over 3 million people. PBR broadcasts its competitions on CBS and CBS Sports networks. For more information, please visit http://www.pbr.com/.
About Spire Capital
Spire Capital (https://www.spirecapital.com/) is an active and experienced private equity firm with an investment focus in small market companies within the business services, information services, education, media and communications sectors. Spire Capital was founded on the principle of partnering with management teams and founders to help effectuate the next stage of growth for their companies. Spire professionals have a broad array of past offerings, investing and advisory experiences to work alongside our portfolio companies to facilitate growth, guide strategic direction and enable them in reaching their business goals. Spire Capital is a New York-based investment advisor registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission under the Investment Advisers Act of 1940. Market conditions can vary widely over time and past performance does not guarantee future results.