Avail-TVN raises $100M, buys On Demand Group for $27M

Digital media giant Avail-TVN on Monday said it received $100 million in investment funding to help bankroll its international growth strategy.

With the cash, Reston, Va.-based Avail-TVN said it was acquiring Britain-headquartered rival media-services company On Demand Group (ODG) for $27 million cash-free, debt-free.

The announcement by Avail-TVN came less than two months after SeaChange International (Nasdaq: SEAC), in Acton, Mass., indicated it wanted to sell DOD the company to advance its long-term strategy.

Rhagu Rau

Rau

Acquiring ODG, which has 1 billion VoD transactions annually from customers in 20 countries, puts Avail-TVN well on its way to developing a global presence.

SeaChange CEO Raghu Rau said the sale is part of SeaChange's plans to become a pure-play software company, noting that Avail-TVN is a "strategic buyer" that as an even larger company "presents a significant customer opportunity" for SeaChange.

Rau said Avail-TVN and ODG will exit the transaction a "global media services powerhouse."

Avail-TVN chief executive RamuPotarazu said, "Together Avail-TVN and ODG reach more homes in more countries than any other provider in the market."

Avail-TVN entered the negotiation as the world's largest video-services company, providing content-management and distribution solutions.

Powered by its proprietary technology, Avail-TVN provides video-on-demand, linear content delivery, TV Everywhere, advanced advertising and data services solutions.

On Demand Group, based in London, too, is an industry leader. ODG manages on-demand businesses of leading providers on three continents.

And, its technology suite--including the VZ and Adrenalin content management platforms--is used by such service providers such as Virgin Media (Nasdaq: VMED) and the German cable TV giant Kabel Deutschland GmbH to stream high-quality video content to millions of cable, IPTV and mobile subscribers.

Avail-TVN's ODG purchase was made easier--if not made possible--by the $100 million invested by The Carlyle Group (Nasdaq: CG). With $159 billion of assets under its management, Washington-based Carlyle is among the world's largest private equity firms.

William Darman, principal, of The Carlyle Group, said Avail-TVN is "an innovator" in helping service providers and content owners alike monetize video content in new ways.

"We see tremendous revenue value creation opportunities in the global digital media space as technology continues to revolutionize the way consumers access premium video entertainment," Darman said.

The Carlyle Group's investment was made jointly by the firm's U.S. and European growth funds, with funds from among other investors, Columbia Capital, Valhalla Partners, Novak Biddle and Pioneer Ventures. 

Debt funding is provided by Silicon Valley Bank, RBS Citizens and Bank of America. With the investment, Carlyle is now Avail-TVN's largest backer.

For more:
 - see the announcements by Avail-TVN and SeaChange

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