Carlyle to lead Group Acquiring PrimeSport, a One-Stop Platform for Ticketing, Hospitality and Travel
Group to include Management, Clearlake Capital, Moorad Sports Partners and RSE Ventures
Washington, DC – Global alternative asset manager The Carlyle Group (NASDAQ: CG) today announced the acquisition of a controlling stake in PrimeSport Holdings Inc., a global sports travel and events-management company headquartered in Atlanta from Clearlake Capital. PrimeSport management, including Founder and CEO Sam Soni, and Clearlake Capital retain a significant minority stake in the Company. Equity for the transaction comes from the Carlyle U.S. Equity Opportunity Fund, a U.S. middle market private equity fund, Moorad Sports Partners, and RSE Ventures. Terms of the transaction, which closed February 11, were not disclosed.
PrimeSport is the official partner to more than 100 sporting events, colleges/universities and professional teams around the world, and actively participates in nearly every major sports category through premium ticket sales, travel packages and exclusive hospitality events.
Sam Soni said, “I am excited to partner with Carlyle, Moorad Sports and RSE, three proven organizations that can help build on our growth. PrimeSport provides the ultimate sports experience for fans and I look forward to broadening our footprint and expanding into adjacent markets through Carlyle’s, Moorad Sports’ and RSE’s relationships. We thank Clearlake for their ownership and guidance over the past year and look forward to their continued participation on PrimeSport’s Board.”
Brooke Coburn, Co-Head of Carlyle’s U.S. mid-market investment team, said, “In partnership with Moorad Sports and RSE Ventures, Sam Soni and his management team we will continue the build out of the PrimeSport platform on a global basis. Sam will remain the firm’s visionary leader and CEO, and we will work together to continue the track record of win-win partnerships with leagues, teams and event sponsors.”
Jeff Moorad, Founder of Moorad Sports Partners, newly appointed Chairman of the Board said, “This is a great partnership where our collective sports industry expertise and relationships will further PrimeSport’s growth. Together with Carlyle, RSE and management, we are confident we can deepen PrimeSport’s existing penetration and expand the services we offer to current partners and new customers.”
David Stonehill, Carlyle Managing Director, said, “PrimeSport has completed two acquisitions over the past two years and our plan is to continue to grow both organically and through additional acquisitions. We will leverage our experience in travel and event sales and utilize the OneCarlyle global network to help create value. PrimeSport has terrific partnerships with the NCAA, the National Hockey League, and many others, and we are eager to continue the tradition of a premier experience for sports fans.”
Carlyle was advised by PricewaterhouseCoopers as financial advisor and Kirkland & Ellis as legal counsel.
* * * * *
About The Carlyle Group
The Carlyle Group (NASDAQ: CG) is a global alternative asset manager with $194 billion of assets under management across 128 funds and 142 fund of funds vehicles as of December 31, 2014. Carlyle's purpose is to invest wisely and create value on behalf of its investors, many of whom are public pensions. Carlyle invests across four segments – Corporate Private Equity, Real Assets, Global Market Strategies and Investment Solutions – in Africa, Asia, Australia, Europe, the Middle East, North America and South America. Carlyle has expertise in various industries, including: aerospace, defense & government services, consumer & retail, energy, financial services, healthcare, industrial, real estate, technology & business services, telecommunications & media and transportation. The Carlyle Group employs more than 1,650 people in 40 offices across six continents.
About Moorad Sports Partners
Utilizing its experience and relationships throughout the global sports industry, Moorad Sports Partners is a management company partnership that pursues investment opportunities in sports-related businesses, including the purchase and management of professional sports franchises.
About RSE Ventures
Founded in 2012 by Stephen M. Ross and Matt Higgins, RSE Ventures is a multi-national sports and entertainment venture firm. RSE builds, operates and invests in sports, media, entertainment and technology companies. Their growing roster of companies and properties includes the NFL's Miami Dolphins, The International Champions Cup, VaynerMedia, Derris & Company, Ascendent Sports, FanVision, Relevent Sports, Catalyst Media and a venture investment fund, Vayner/RSE, in partnership with Gary Vaynerchuk.
PrimeSport is the leader in providing direct access to the biggest sporting events, offering tickets, travel, hospitality, and VIP experiences for corporations, professional sports teams and fans. PrimeSport's extensive experience in sports travel, hospitality and ticketing has allowed the company to form long term, official partnerships with some of the largest sporting events and organizations in the country. As a result, PrimeSport can provide more exclusive access to more events than any other company in the industry. Official partnerships include select NCAA Championships®, including the NCAA® Men's Basketball Tournament and Men’s Final Four®, Men's College World Series®, Division I Wrestling Championships, Women's College World Series®, Women's Final Four®, Women's Volleyball Championship and Men's Frozen Four®, NHL, 20 NFL teams, 2015 College Football Playoff National Championship, Rose Bowl, Sugar Bowl, Alamo Bowl, Orange Bowl, Holiday Bowl, Poinsettia Bowl, Chick-fil-A Bowl, Chick-fil-A Kickoff Game, AdvoCare Texas Kickoff, State Farm Champions Classic, Jimmy V Classic, 2K Classic, Gotham Classic, Legends Classic, Wrangler National Finals Rodeo, Feld Motor Sports, more than 40 major NCAA Division I universities, nineteen NASCAR speedways and more. PrimeSport is a privately-held company, headquartered in Atlanta, GA. For more information, please visit www.primesport.com.
# # #