Management buys Pro-Bel

Routing switcher manufacturer Pro-Bel, heretofore a division of Chyron Corp., has been bought by its UK-based management team, led by managing director Graham Pitman, in a deal valued at slightly more than $18.6 million.

Venture capital to fund the buyout was provided by LDC, the private equity arm of Lloyds TSB, with additional funding provided by HSBC's new Thames Valley Corporate Centre, based in Reading, UK.

The move seems to be sparked by Chyron’s desire to reduce its debt and raise capital for R&D. The sale will result in net proceeds to the company of approximately $12.8 million before transaction related costs.

Company CEO, Michael Wellesley-Wesley, said Chyron is focused “100% on our core competency, the development of real-time graphics solutions for our professional video and TV broadcast customers around the world.”

Since 1977 Pro-Bel’s gear, including its routing switchers, signal processing, automation and master control systems, have been used by all of the major television broadcast networks and post production facilities in the U.S. and overseas. While company headquarters is based in Reading, Berkshire, UK, Pro-Bel maintains a network of offices and dealers in the U.S., Europe and the Far East.

As one of the original founders, Pitman said they have been working on securing investment capital for the buyout for most of this year. “Ownership enables Pro-Bel to fully further focus on what it has always done best; developing class exceptional leading products and providing first-class excellence in customer service and support,” he said.

He said the Pro-Bel business is “on the brink of achieving our most successful year ever, in what is an undeniably competitive market.”

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