Media specialists move into UK satellite broadcast sector

Veronis Suhler Stevenson buys into UK satellite broadcaster as a platform for further consolidation

Veronis Suhler Stevenson, a US private equity firm that specialises in media and communications deals, has made an undisclosed investment in UK-based digital satellite broadcaster The Chart Show Group as it looks to consolidate the sector.

VSS said it would look to “strengthen the broadcasting platform” through further acquisitions. It also plans to increase the proportion of the company’s revenues that does not come from advertising.

Under the terms of the deal, VSS will bring in two broadcasting executives to strengthen the company’s management team. Dick Emery, previously chief executive of independent producer UKTV, joins as chairman, while David Docherty, a former director at UK broadcaster BBC and chief executive of independent production company Yoomedia, has been named chief executive.

The Chart Show Group, which began as a weekly UK TV music show in the 1980s, now operates ten channels – six music, two movie and two children’s channels. Keith Macmillan and Gail Boardman, the entrepreneurs behind the group, will join the supervisory board as it assesses other acquisition targets.

The deal comes in the wake of increased private equity interest in satellite broadcasters. Last month Kohlberg Kravis Roberts and Permira agreed a €5.6 billion ($7.4 billion) for ProSiebenSat.1, a German media company.