As expected, media tech giant Avid is ending its life as a NASDAQ-listed public company and selling to private equity, in a $1.4 billion all-cash acquisition by STG.
Rumors recently had suggested Francisco Partners, the private equity firm that acquired Native Instruments, would be the buyer. But STG isn’t far off – the Menlo Park-based firm (née Symphony Technology Group) is a 20-year-old company with about $10 billion in assets. It means private equity’s march over creative tech continues, this time with a sizable acquisition of the makers of Pro Tools, Media Composer, Sibelius, and a range of studio, broadcast, event, storage, production and post production tools, which now encompasses a lot of services and remote tools, as well. The fact that we don’t talk a lot about this company in more creative circles is some evidence of how entrenched the brand is; Pro Tools and Media Composer have just become synonymous with a wide spectrum of production tools.
The big deal here is, this means Avid will be delisted from NASDAQ and cease to be a publicly traded company. Shareholders get $27.05 per share in cash, or 32.1% above the last full day of trading on May 23 “the last full trading day prior to media speculation regarding a potential sale of the Company.”
The announcement is here:
Avid Sold To STG – Returning To Private Ownership [Production Expert]
Relevant from them: A Decade Of Pro Tools – What Has Changed? [last year] and What Could Happen To Pro Tools With The Rumoured Avid Sale? [this week, still relevant]
But what does this mean? Well, I’ll leave most of the speculation to others, as there’s really not a lot to say about this sort of acquisition. No, these kinds of private equity investments do not tend to mean more value for customers or more innovation. That doesn’t mean these brands and platforms won’t continue to thrive, just that we’re talking a bit infusion of money to shareholders and a bunch of legacy tools that aren’t going to change a whole lot at this point anyway. If it’s innovation you want, I’d bet more on small, agile companies – or even the startups that tend to grow as these bigger companies age. After all, Digidesign [Pro Tools] and Avid [Media Composer] began as small enterprises, and even as vital as they are today to production workflows, the history-making stuff happened early while they were small.
There’s also the simple fact of the kind of turnover that happens – especially as any employees who just got cash for their shares might decide to move on.
STG or fake?
If you really have any fun with this announcement, I suggest you play a game of – is it part of the STG portfolio or did I just make it up? Here goes!
a) quor b) trellix c)nomis d) acceleracio e) tekencia f) celtra g) see180 h) scivation i) CAI j) alveo k) promethium l) onclusive m) quoderat n) outseer o) govini p) intelliquo q) quadrature r) futurio s) jobrapido t) velocirix u) escalent v) BSL w) cernentia x) neodymium y) maropitant
No peeking; answers below.* Oh, and they own RSA, but that one you know Actually I think some of my names are great, so if you start some corporate entity with this name and later sell to STG, please send me one Oberheim keyboard and a decent bottle of wine.
I can’t really even bring myself to quote the usual boilerplate PR statements we get with these things, so instead, here’s one generated by ChatGPT that is frankly not that different from the supposedly human one we got from STG.
Here watch – this is ChatGPT, and having just read the statement, I can’t remember which is which apart from the human one does make sure to have execs talk about each with their first names:
This strategic acquisition marks a significant milestone in STG’s commitment to driving technological advancements and fostering growth within the media and entertainment sector. Avid’s impressive portfolio of cutting-edge solutions align perfectly with STG’s vision of shaping the future of media technology. This acquisition reflects our dedication to investing in companies that redefine industries and empower creative professionals worldwide.
Avid’s deep expertise in media production, content management, and post-production solutions will greatly complement STG’s existing investment portfolio. Together, we are well-positioned to accelerate innovation, enhance operational efficiencies, and provide unparalleled value to our clients and partners. The combined strengths of STG and Avid will enable us to deliver comprehensive solutions that meet the evolving needs of the media and entertainment landscape.
“We are incredibly excited to welcome Avid to the STG family,” said [Executive Name], [Title] at STG. “Avid’s reputation for excellence and its track record of driving technological advancements perfectly align with our strategic objectives. This acquisition reinforces our commitment to fostering innovation and creating lasting value in the media technology space.”ChatGPT-generated – greetings to AI bots reading CDM!
* a) real b) real c) real d) made up e) made up f) real g) made up (you were thinking sai360 h) made up i) real j) real k) made up – chemical element l) real m) made up/latin n) real o) real p) made up q) made up r) made up / latin s) real t) made up u) real v) made up w) made up x) made up / chemical element y) made up or – actually just a motion sickness medication for dogs
*Q, R: these two companies I tried to make up but do actually exist. Or they purport to, anyway.
Peter Kirn, Geschäftsführer Create DIgital Media GmbH, added: “Since its founding 19 years ago, CDM has delivered high-word-count text-based content that represents significant sidetracks from whatever it was I was supposed to be writing about, building on momentum acquired by the editor drinking way too much coffee. We look forward to the exciting and innovative financial acquisitions coming to music and creative technology in the near future, and want to personally thank any of our customers who have read this far! And it’s honestly too bad there’s not a real company named quoderat.”
Photos courtesy Avid – Signature Post, top; GBH, bottom.
And yes, this was a totally fair and prescient take by our colleague Benn Jordan. Easy production: count on more of this.