SVG Q&A: Vizrt CEO Burkhalter Discusses Privatization’s Impact on Sports-Production Biz

Earlier this month, Vizrt revealed that it will go private after being acquired by Scandinavian private-equity firm Nordic Capital. Under terms of the deal, the Nordic Capital Fund VIII will pay a cash consideration of 37 Norwegian krone per Vizrt share for 100% of the company’s issued shares, a 32% premium that values the graphics/automation/analysis/asset-management–tech vendor at approximately $370 million ( 2.5 billion krone).

The “reverse triangular merger,” which is expected to take place on or around Jan. 31, preceded fellow broadcast-graphics provider ChyronHego’s announcement that it also will be going private, following a deal with Vector Capital.

SVG sat down with Vizrt CEO Martin Burkhalter to discuss the Nordic Capital acquisition, how it affects the North American and live-sports-production markets, and what it means for the future of his company.

It is obviously very early in the process, but how do you foresee this deal affecting your North American client base/market?
There will be no change for our clients in the Americas as there are no changes planned in our organization for the American market. We will continue to focus on our strong customer commitments by delivering innovative products and solutions, as well as supporting our customers in the best possible way, as we have been doing for many years.

How will this allow Vizrt to better serve the sports-production market?
We will continue to invest in our presence in sports in the region, as we consider the sports segment to be an important part of our growth plans going forward.

Will this deal help provide Vizrt with funds to continue to expand its business in graphics, virtual studios, MAM, and other key areas? Is Nordic Capital interested in one of these markets more than another? 
We will continue to invest in our business, as we have been doing in the past, to continue to further strengthen our leading market position in all our current business segments and beyond. Nordic Capital acquired Vizrt not only for its great history but much more for the opportunities we see in the future.

What can Vizrt customers expect in terms of changes/improvements as a result of the Nordic Capital deal?
Our customers can continue to count on our dedication and commitment towards them without any interruption. We will continue to support them in any way we can to reach their ambitious targets in a fast-changing media environment.

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