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Updated: Belden to Acquire Grass Valley

Company will be combined with Miranda.

ST. LOUIS—Belden said it has submitted a binding offer to purchase privately held Grass Valley for $220 million. The binding offer is subject to consultation with Grass Valley’s foreign labor works council. Grass Valley provides technologies including production switchers, cameras, servers, and editing solutions for broadcast customers.

“Today is an exciting day for us at Grass Valley. Belden Inc. announced its intent to bring Grass Valley on board and combine it with Miranda,” Grass Valley’s announcement said. “Grass Valley will remain the name of the combined businesses.”

Grass Valley, which started out in the eponymous California Gold Rush community, now has a home office in Hillsboro, Ore., and employs 942 people around the world. Operations will be headquartered in Montreal. A spokesman for Belden said it was too early in the process to address the question of cutting staff.

“Belden intends to utilize the joint Belden/Miranda/Grass Valley integration team to develop a detailed integration plan that best leverages the combined capabilities of the company. However, we are early in the process and it is too early to speculate on the number of affected positions. Belden is committed to keeping employees informed throughout the acquisition and integration process,” he said.

Grass Valley is being sold by San Francisco-based private equity firm Francisco Partners, which bought Grass Valley in July 2010 for $100 million. In January of 2013, the firm brought in Tim Thorsteinson to run the company, as he had in the 1990s when it was owned by Tektronix and sold to Thomson, which later became Technicolor. Bringing Thorsteinson generally is considered a divestiture signal, given his first gig with Grass Valley and subsequent CEO roles at Leitch, which was sold to Harris on his guard, then Harris later was sold to investors for $225 million. Thorsteinson was also brought in to serve on the board of Miranda in March 2012 when the company revealed it was entertaining offers. Belden bought Montreal-based Miranda the following June for C$345 million.

Thorsteinson will be out as the chief of Grass; Marco Lopez, president of Miranda, will run the integrated companies, according to a letter from Belden president and CEO John Stroup, obtained by TV Technology magazine.

“Marco Lopez, president of Miranda, will lead the combined businesses,” the letter said. “The hard work has already started behind the scenes as we begin integrating Grass Valley and Miranda. We have established a core integration team made up of functional leaders from Grass Valley and Miranda. The team, led by Kendall Morgan, will continue to work together to determine a detailed integration plan that best leverages the combined capabilities of the company.”

Updated Feb. 7, 2014 (10AM)