Broadcast Vendor M&A: Vislink Buys Pebble Beach for $24.7 Million

Posted by Joe Zaller
Mar 19 2014

Vislink announced that it has acquired playout automation specialist Pebble Beach Systems for $24.7m (£14.9m). Pebble Beach will operate as a stand-alone unit within Vislink, and will continue to be run by its management, including founder Peter Hajittofi.

Under the terms of the deal, Vislink will pay £12.9m in cash, and £2m in newly issued Vislink shares.  Pebble Beach management must hold the new shares for at least two years. Vislink says the “transaction will be immediately earnings enhancing.”

For the fiscal year ended June 20, 2013, Pebble Beach had revenue of £5.64m, EBITDA of £1.3m, and profit before tax of £1.3m.  Thus the deal values the company at approximately 2.5x revenue, and 11.4x EBITDA. After backing out the £5.9m in cash Pebble Beach had in the bank, the net price paid by Vislink was £9m, valuing the deal at approximately 1.6x revenue and  7x EBITDA.

The fact that Vislink has made an acquisition is not surprising.

The company, which had revenue of £28m for the first half of 2013, has told the market for the past several years that it intends to grow its revenue to £80m, with 10% return on sales, by the end of 2014.  

Vislink, which recently moved its listing to the UK AIM market, has long-telegraphed telegraphed its intention to buy companies to achieve its stated goals for revenue growth and profitability.

In its most recent half-yearly results, company management said “we remain on track to grow the business to achieve turnover of £80m and £8m adjusted operating profit by the end of FY2014, and we intend to support this by a number of bolt on acquisitions in addition to achieving organic growth.”

However, it is interesting to note that Vislink decided to buy a  company in a different part of the broadcast value chain to help it achieve its stated intentions.

Vislink, which owns the Advent, Gigawave, Link, MRC, and PMR brands, is best known for its RF, microwave, and satellite communication products that are used by broadcasters in live production environments such as news and sports.

Pebble Beach products are used in broadcast playout applications, which does not have the same emphasis on live events.

Having said that, Vislink says that the Pebble Beach team will “assist Vislink in expanding its software capability as a Group,” so the acquisition could be the first of several deals that mark the beginning of a new business focus at Vislink.

Vislink explained the rationale for the deal saying Pebble Beach’s technology is complementary to its own, and that “the acquisition of Pebble Beach will move Vislink into the provision of software solutions for playout with advanced software technology,” and that “Vislink will now be able to offer broadcasters a complete ‘scene to screen’ solution.”  Vislink also highlighted the fact that Pebble Beach “will gain from access to significantly increased sales channels through the global network of over 900 broadcasters that Vislink works with as well as its international network of offices.”

“The acquisition fits perfectly into our long term strategy of acquiring software and services capability that we hope to drive recurring revenues for the group,” said Vislink chairman John Hawkins.

UK-based Pebble Beach has 60 employees, and regional offices in Dubai, Singapore, and the USA.

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Related Content:

Press Release: Vislink Acquires Pebble Beach

Broadcast Vendor M&A: Vislink Buys Amplifier Technology for up to $6.2 Million

Vislink Revenue Declines 7 Percent in Q3 2012, Reaffirms Plan to Double Revenue By End of 2014

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