Carlyle To Acquire LiveU

(Image credit: LiveU)

HACKENSACK, N.J.—LiveU has announced that the global investment firm Carlyle has acquired the company from Francisco Partners, which took a majority stake in LiveU in 2019. 

Terms of the deal were not disclosed and closing is dependent on regulatory approvals. 

TechCrunch has reported that the deal was worth over $400 million, citing unnamed "well-placed" sources. 

LiveU was founded in 2006, LiveU is the pioneer of bonded cellular technology-based live video technologies that are widely used by major live broadcast news networks and sports content owners around the world. It currently has more than 3,000 customers in 130+ countries, the companies reported. While owned by Francisco Partners it crossed the $100 million mark in annual sales. 

“We’re excited to partner with Carlyle as we look to expand LiveU’s global footprint and service offering,” said Samuel Wasserman, CEO and co-founder of LiveU in a statement. “This is a significant milestone for LiveU and represents a strong vote of confidence in our business. Carlyle brings deep industry expertise with their track record in the media and technology space alongside a global network. We greatly thank Francisco Partners and IGP Capital for their support and partnership over the last few years.”

The companies stated that Carlyle will use its deep experience in the media tech sector to support LiveU’s growth ambitions and that it will “seek to further consolidate LiveU’s market position through M&A activity and organic growth while capitalizing on the rapidly growing demand for high-quality live video transmission.”

Carlyle currently has tech investments in such companies as Disguise and NEP and has previously held stakes in The Foundry, Vubiquity, BTI Studios and The Mill.

Equity for the investment will be provided by Carlyle Europe Technology Partners (CETP) IV, a fund that invests in middle market technology-focused opportunities in Europe and the US.

Michael Wand, managing director and co-head of the CETP advisory team, said: “Carlyle has a history of investing in fast-growing and highly innovative, disruptive media technology companies and is truly excited to partner with LiveU which is at the forefront of a rapidly growing market. Our partnership with the LiveU team will allow us to support their growth, driven by a mixture of expanding into new verticals, targeted M&A activity and through further developing their relationships with key media broadcasters, particularly in live sports where we are witnessing an exploding demand for live content. We believe that the ongoing shift towards high quality real-time video content, the cost advantages of bonded cellular versus alternative transmission technologies, and the opportunity to bring live broadcast to hitherto neglected areas such as semi-pro or non-professional sports, provides an enormous growth potential for LiveU.”

GCA Altium advised LiveU on the transaction.

This story was updated on July 23, 2021.

George Winslow

George Winslow is the senior content producer for TV Tech. He has written about the television, media and technology industries for nearly 30 years for such publications as Broadcasting & Cable, Multichannel News and TV Tech. Over the years, he has edited a number of magazines, including Multichannel News International and World Screen, and moderated panels at such major industry events as NAB and MIP TV. He has published two books and dozens of encyclopedia articles on such subjects as the media, New York City history and economics.