Learfield Communications, Inc. of Jefferson City, MO, the leading provider of integrated marketing solutions in college sports, announced today that it has entered into a definitive agreement to be acquired by Atairos Group, Inc., an independent private company focused on supporting growth-oriented businesses, from Providence Equity Partners. Financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed.
"As we continue to execute on our long-term strategic growth plan and deliver best-in-class services and support to our collegiate partners, we are excited to partner with Atairos and look forward to their expertise and support," said President and CEO Greg Brown. "Over the last three years with Providence, our core multimedia rights business grew substantially, while we developed new digital offerings, an extensive national sales platform, and built out additional products and services through acquisitions, strategic partnerships and organic initiatives. We are well positioned to pursue our robust growth strategy in partnership with Atairos, a long-term investor which brings complementary resources and a close relationship with Comcast-NBC Universal, which will help us continue to provide innovative solutions for our collegiate and corporate partners."
Brown will continue to lead the senior management team, all of whom will remain shareholders in the Company. Aside from new growth investments, there are no plans to make changes to the staffing, management or operations of the Company. “I’m extraordinarily pleased we will be working with the tremendous team at Atairos,” added Brown. “Given their understanding of the Learfield culture, their appreciation for our deep relationships in collegiate athletics, and their long-term commitment, we feel this partnership will be an incredible advantage as we continue to grow our Company."
Michael Angelakis, Chairman and CEO of Atairos, said, “We have admired Learfield for quite some time and have tremendous confidence in Greg Brown and his leadership team. We believe that our sector expertise combined with our long-term investment approach will enable the Company to accelerate its growth initiatives, achieve its strategic goals, and continue to deliver world-class solutions to its clients and partners. As the Company transitions to this exciting new chapter, we are enthusiastic about the opportunities ahead and look forward to partnering with the entire Learfield team for many years to come."
Atairos is an independent firm that brings to Learfield a host of valuable experience and resources, including its strategic partnership with Comcast-NBC Universal. Based on Atairos’ strategic relationships, Learfield anticipates potential collaborations to develop new opportunities, services, and insights for its collegiate partners, particularly in programming, digital capabilities and social media. As universities continue to explore new ways to enhance the fan experience, Atairos will assist Learfield in engaging entertainment industry leaders to help schools and sponsors in developing new strategies to build deeper connections with the various collegiate audiences.