Bridgepoint backs Chrysalis TV unit MBI

The UK mid-market private equity firm has agreed to back a management buy-in of the media group’s TV unit led by former Granada chief executive Steve Morrison.

UK mid-market buyout firm Bridgepoint Capital has reached agreement with UK-listed media and music group Chrysalis over the sale of its TV unit in a deal worth up to £51m (E72.5m).


Bridgepoint is backing a management buy-in team which includes some of the major names in UK television, including Steve Morrison (formerly chief executive, Granada plc), Jules Burns (former managing director of operations, Granada plc) and David Liddiment (formerly ITV director of channels).


Bridgepoint has agreed to pay an initial sum of £45m in cash, with an additional £5.8m to be paid over the next three years. Debt financing for the transaction was provided by Royal Bank of Scotland. Chrysalis is selling the business to focus on its music and publishing businesses.


Bridgepoint approached the Chrysalis board in late April with an indicative offer for the unit, which consists of divisions in the UK, the Netherlands and New Zealand. The unit employs 264 people worldwide and is responsible for a number of well-known UK television shows as well as holding the rights for Formula One and World Rally coverage in the UK.


In the year to 31 August 2002, Chrysalis TV reported turnover of £88.9m (2001: £61.7m) and EBITDA of £5.2m (£3.5m). The business made an operating profit of £5.2m (£3.5m).


The deal is the second carried out by a UK private equity firm in the TV and media sector in recent weeks. Earlier this month, Kleinwort Capital paid £23m for a 45 per cent stake in UK television production company Hat Trick.