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Grass Valley Finds a Home

French conglomerate Technicolor
announced that its Grass Valley broadcast equipment business, which has been up
for sale since January 2009, may have finally found a new owner in Francisco

The San Francisco, Calif.-based private
equity firm, which has nearly $5 billion under management and focuses on
investments in technology-based companies, has made a binding offer to
Technicolor to acquire 100% of the Grass Valley Broadcast & Professional
business activities. That business includes the camera, content repurposing,
editing, master control, modular, news production, production automation,
routing, servers, storage and switching product lines, including their entire
product portfolios, the R&D centers and factories around the world, sales
and systems activities and customer support organization worldwide, as well as
the management and administrative support functions dedicated to the

The Nevada City, Calif.-based business
would operate as "Grass Valley" going forward. Pending final
agreement, regulatory approval and applicable notification requirements (and,
when it is requested, the prior consultation of staff representatives), the
companies say it is expected that the transaction can be completed before the
end of 2010.

"We are excited about this opportunity,
as Grass Valley's market leadership is clearly evident," said David Golob, partner
at Francisco Partners, in a statement. "The business has an unrivalled
brand identity and company heritage, a long history of innovation, team members
that are dedicated to their customers' success, and an impressive product
portfolio. We are looking forward to the opportunity to work closely with Grass
Valley's management to create a company that leverages the strong entrepreneurial
spirit within Grass Valley, allowing them to achieve even greater success."

"This is positive news for the company
and our customers," added Jeff Rosica, SVP and head of the Grass Valley
Broadcast & Professional business. "We are encouraged that we are taking a
major step towards completing the divestiture process with this binding offer
from Francisco Partners. The opportunity to be part of Francisco Partner's
portfolio gives Grass Valley a solid foundation to continue to work tirelessly
to maintain our core values of innovation, performance, and passion that have
benefited our customers throughout the years. Our customers worldwide will
continue to receive the high quality and service that they have come to expect
from Grass Valley, with continued focus on raising the bar in our industry."

The deal does not include Technicolor's
Transmission and Headend businesses, which are in the process of being
separated from the Grass Valley Broadcast & Professional business in a
reorganization which Technicolor announced in March. Technicolor says it will
continue the planned divestiture of those businesses separately, and that the
businesses plan to individually operate going forward.