LOS ANGELES – February 19, 2015 – A consortium of Japanese companies has signed a definitive agreement to acquire SDI Media (“SDI”), a global market-leading localization company serving the media and entertainment industry. SDI is an investment of CM Media Partners, an affiliate of Carl Marks & Co. (“Carl Marks”).
The consortium acquiring SDI is led by Imagica Robot Holdings Inc. and includes the Cool Japan Fund and Sumitomo Corporation. The members of the consortium are engaged in a wide range of media and entertainment related businesses, including creative and post-production services, content production and acquisition, media distribution, TV channel operations, and imaging systems & digital video solutions.
By acquiring SDI, the consortium gains access to the world’s largest media dubbing and subtitling footprint spanning 40 markets in 37 countries. It also provides access to SDI’s significant technological capabilities and a list of blue-chip customers including Hollywood studios, international broadcasters, and leading media companies. By leveraging the joint capabilities of SDI and the other members of the consortium, post-acquisition offerings will include an extensive list of services to key segments, while also providing for the export and purposing of multi-language content, including content originated in Japan. No management or organizational changes are expected as of the close.
“We are very happy and proud to announce this acquisition,” said Walter Schonfeld, President & CEO of SDI Media. “The Consortium’s strategic vision provides SDI with the opportunity to continue our efforts to offer truly global localization services, and provides our clients with a more comprehensive solution to their content requirements. In addition, SDI’s involvement with a strategic acquirer provides an added level of stability and certainty to all our stakeholders.”
“We are very excited about this acquisition and the growth opportunities it presents to us,” said Tsuguya Kitade, Director and Managing Executive Officer, Imagica Robot Holdings. “This strategic investment marks a giant step by Imagica Robot Group to expand our highly-reputed services for the media and entertainment industry on a worldwide scale. SDI’s strong global footprints with its operational excellence will also help realize the objectives by our Consortium Partners, Cool Japan Fund and Sumitomo Corporation, of establishing an international network and service infrastructure to promote content distribution.”
SDI was acquired by BNP Paribas in 2010, and merchant bank Carl Marks made a growth capital investment in the company in 2013. BNP Paribas and Carl Marks have supported an aggressive growth plan for SDI allowing it to invest in and significantly expand its geographic footprint, technologies, customer servicing capabilities, and systems development.
“This is a great day for SDI,” said Mark Claster, President of Carl Marks. “We are pleased to have been part of SDI and thrilled to see it in good hands as it enters its next chapter.”
The acquisition will close upon completion of any appropriate regulatory filings and related conditions, which are expected to take up to 45 days.
SDI and its parent are represented in the transaction by Lazard Middle Market as financial advisor, BNP Paribas as co-financial advisor, and K&L Gates as legal advisor. The Consortium is represented in the transaction by GCA Savvian as financial advisor and Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman as legal advisor.
About SDI Media: SDI Media is the world’s leading media localization provider, offering dubbing, subtitling, and media services for international, regional, and local content owners, aggregators, broadcasters, and new media distributors. SDI Media offers clients a complete end-to-end localization solution for feature films, episodic television series, interactive games, new media, and corporate needs using the most comprehensive suite of customizable localization software applications in the industry. With the world’s largest owned and operated network of facilities, incorporating over 150 recording rooms and 85 mixing rooms, SDI Media provides dubbing, subtitling, and other media solutions in more than 80 languages worldwide. Servicing 40 markets, in 37 countries across EMEA, Asia, and the Americas, SDI Media’s global localization footprint provides the only one-stop media localization solution in the industry.
About Imagica Robot Holdings Inc.: Manages a group of companies which are engaged in a wide range of media and entertainment related businesses, including creative and post-production services, content production and acquisition, media distribution, TV channel operations, and imaging systems & digital video solutions. The company has long-standing relationships with major studios, content owners, content creators, and broadcasters. IMAGICA provides a full range of services to multiple market segments including theatrical, home entertainment, broadcast, and advertising. IMAGICA operates 7 facilities in Japan and 1 in Malaysia.
About Cool Japan Fund: Cool Japan Fund was founded in November 2013 as a public-private fund with the aim of supporting and promoting the development of demand overseas for Japanese products and services. Cool Japan Fund aims to commercialize the “Cool Japan” concept and increase overseas demand by providing risk capital for businesses across a variety of areas, including media & content, food & services, and fashion & lifestyle.
About Sumitomo Corporation: Sumitomo Corporation is a leading general trading company, with 115 locations in 67 countries and 24 domestic locations. The Sumitomo Corporation Group consists of nearly 800 companies with more than 70,000 personnel. Its core business units are Metal Products; Transportation & Construction Systems; Environment & Infrastructure; Media, Network, Lifestyle Related Goods & Services; and Mineral Resources, Energy, Chemical & Electronics. In the Media Division, Sumitomo’s main businesses are Cable TV business, broadcasting and cinema businesses.
About BNP Paribas: BNP Paribas has a presence in 75 countries with more than 180,000 employees, including more than 140,000 in Europe. It ranks highly in its three core activities: Retail Banking, Investment Solutions and Corporate & Institutional Banking. In Europe, the Group has four domestic markets (Belgium, France, Italy and Luxembourg) and BNP Paribas Personal Finance is the leader in consumer lending. BNP Paribas is rolling out its integrated retail banking model across Mediterranean basin countries, in Turkey, in Eastern Europe and a large network in the western part of the United States. In its Corporate & Institutional Banking and Investment Solutions activities, BNP Paribas also enjoys top positions in Europe, a strong presence in the Americas and solid and fast-growing businesses in Asia-Pacific.
About Carl Marks: Founded in 1925, Carl Marks & Co. is one of the investment community’s most experienced merchant banks. The family-owned and operated firm serves as a platform for a range of investment and advisory business. Its areas of operations include advisory services, distressed investments, investment management, private equity, real estate, and new businesses. Carl Marks also serves as a growth catalyst for investment managers seeking a platform on which to build their businesses.
For additional information please visit www.sdimedia.com or contact Aviv Gattenuo at +1.310.388.8942 with press inquiries.