Blue Star is an event, media, and entertainment company specializing in consumer expos, events, and national touring shows and exhibits. Blue Star is the producer of the “Discover the Dinosaurs” show in the United States and internationally. Since inception, Blue Star has promoted more than 2,000 shows and events that have attracted more than 6 million visitors. The company has a 20+ year track record as an owner, operator and promoter of consumer and business trade shows, expos and exhibits. “Discover the Dinosaurs” has held more than 200 events and been attended by approximately 2 million visitors since inception. Blue Star is based in Minneapolis (www.discoverthedinosaurs.com) (www.bluestarshows.com).
AUA’s strategy for Blue Star Media is to accelerate growth by increasing the scale and presence of the “Discover the Dinosaurs” show in the United States and internationally, and expanding the company’s portfolio of shows.
Sanjay Syal, founder and CEO of Blue Star, will continue to lead the company through its next stage of growth. In connection with the transaction, Peter Englehart will consult for the company as Executive Producer and support Mr. Syal in executing the company’s strategic growth initiatives. Mr. Englehart was most recently Chairman and CEO of Competitor Group, a consumer event, media and entertainment company serving the endurance sports industry, and has also worked at OLN and Speedvision Cable Networks, ESPN and ABC Television.
“Blue Star has a proven history of operating and promoting highly-successful events and shows, with “Discover the Dinosaurs” being one of the leading dinosaur-themed touring shows in the United States,” said David Benyaminy, Partner at AUA Equity. “We look forward to partnering with Sanjay and the team at Blue Star to build the company into a leading multi-concept event, media and entertainment platform and replicating our success of taking family-owned businesses to the next level.”
“We are excited to partner with AUA Equity, Brian Crosby and Peter Englehart as we embark on this new stage for our business. Their relevant operational expertise and AUA Equity’s real-life experience identifying advertising and sponsorship opportunities which target the Hispanic customer will be key strategic advantages for future growth,” said Mr. Syal.
AUA Private Equity Partners makes equity investments in companies in the consumer, media and business services sectors with a particular focus on Hispanic-oriented companies and family-owned businesses located in the United States. The firm invests from $10 million to $30 million of equity in companies that generate at least $3 million of EBITDA. The firm is based in New York (www.auaequity.com).
The AUA Equity deal team was comprised of Partner David Benyaminy and Associate Jack Lin who worked in conjunction with Brian Crosby and Peter Englehart. Bruce Behm of Minneapolis-based Quazar Capital Corporation acted as sell-side advisor. Lowenstein Sandler, with a team led by Michael Brosse, provided legal advice to AUA Equity and Thomas Harlan of Madigan, Dahl & Harlan, PA provided legal advice to the seller.
2014 PEPD • Private Equity’s Leading News Magazine • 6-11-14