Television

Emerald Media buys minority stake in Global Sports Commerce

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MUMBAI: Emerald Media, the Pan-Asia company backed by global investment firm KKR, has acquired a significant minority stake in sports technology and management company Global Sports Commerce (GSC) through a combination of primary and secondary investments.

The aggregate US$80 million investment will include the secondary purchase of Asia-focussed private equity firm FidelisWorld’s stake in Techfront and the primary growth capital. The growth capital will enable GSC and its global affiliate Techfront to explore inorganic acquisition opportunities, develop next generation technologies for the sporting eco-system, and expand its operations in the fast-growing digital sporting solutions markets across the globe, the release issued by Emerald Media, which invests in media, entertainment, consumer tech and B2B industries, stated.

FidelisWorld, which had invested in Techfront in 2014, will be fully exiting the business as part of the current transaction. Asia-focused private equity firm ADV Partners, which invested in GSC in 2015-16, will continue to hold a significant minority stake in the company.

Emerald Media MD Rajesh Kamat said that the introduction of digital technology into the world of sports had helped amplify fans’ appreciation of the games and had helped to create an alternative source of revenue for clients, besides the games themselves. “GSC has transformed sports tech in India and across the globe by enhancing the way sports franchises interact with fans and capitalising on the ardor of their fan base. With GSC, we are excited to add sports to our eco-system of assets,” he said.

Headquartered in Singapore, GSC combines cutting-edge technology solutions in the fields of LED signage, sponsorship management, premium consulting, fan engagement, AR/VR, drone-based data acquisition, wireless tech and data-sciences. It offers clients these comprehensive sports technology and management services by leveraging its network of companies that include Techfront, ITW, Qubercomm, Sportsgateway, Media Bay, Beyond Boundaries, Cartoon Mango and Nanoyotta.

Since inception, the company has cultivated strong relationships with franchises across the sporting world with the aim of enhancing the commercial value of its sporting clients and creating new avenues for commerce. The franchises that GSC has partnered with include FIFA, the English Premier League, NRL Australia, Australian Football league, IPL, Formula 1, Big Bash League, New Zealand Cricket, Cricket Australia, IMG and Asia Sports. The companyoffices in 16 cities in 10 countries including Australia, Hungary, India, New Zealand, South Africa, Switzerland, the UAE, UK, and the US.

GSC CEO M S Muralidharan said, "We are very happy to have a strong partner in Emerald Media, whose team’s extensive investment experience and critical connections across the globe will help deepen GSC’s engagement with the world of sports. This investment further contributes to the consolidation of sports commerce worldwide via use of technology, and it helps us expand our international footprint."

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Amagi: KKR-backed Emerald leads US$35 million funding; buys stake

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