FOX Sports and The Associated Press have agreed to sell their sports data company, STATS LLC, to Vista Equity Partners. Both AP and FOX Sports own 50% of STATS and will continue their usual business relationship with the company after the sale. The transaction is expected to close this summer.
STATS is a sports technology, data and content company providing real-time scores, historical sports information, sports content from AP and specialized technology for viewing, tracking and analyzing sports. The company name originated as an acronym for “Sports Team Analysis and Tracking Systems” and was founded in April 1981. STATS was acquired by Fox Sports in 2000 and the Associated Press invested in the company when STATS merged with AP Megasports in 2005. STATS is based in the Chicago suburb of Northbrook (www.stats.com).
“It’s been a privilege to partner with the AP, and under the leadership of STATS CEO Gary Walrath, help grow STATS into one of the most innovative sports technology and information companies in the world,” said Eric Shanks, president and COO, FOX Sports. “We’re confident Vista will be able to build upon that success and drive STATS to even greater heights.”
Vista Equity Partners has more than $12 billion in committed capital and makes equity investments in enterprise software businesses and technology-enabled services companies. The firm was founded in 2000 and has over 50 investment professionals operating out of Austin, Chicago, and San Francisco (www.vistaequitypartners.com).
The Associated Press is a global news network, delivering news from every corner of the world to all media platforms and formats. The organization was founded in 1846 and is based in New York (www.ap.org).
FOX Sports is the umbrella entity representing 21st Century FOX’s array of multi-platform US-based sports assets. FOX Sports includes ownership and interests in linear television networks, digital and mobile programming, broadband platforms, multiple web sites, joint-venture businesses and several licensing partnerships. The company is based in Los Angeles (www.foxsports.com).
“AP and FOX Sports have had an excellent and productive partnership. Together with the STATS team we’ve built a highly successful enterprise that we expect will be able to continue its growth and innovation under Vista,” said AP President and CEO Gary Pruitt.
The Raine Group (www.raine.com) acted as exclusive financial adviser to The Associated Press and 21st Century Fox.
© 2014 PEPD • Private Equity’s Leading News Magazine • 5-20-14