Emerald media invests in Techfront


Emerald Media, a pan-Asia company backed by global investment firm KKR, acquired a significant minority stake (more than 15%) in Global Sports Commerce (GSC), a network of sports technology and management companies.

The US$80 million deal was structured through a combination of primary and secondary investments.

GSC works with large sports leagues such as Premier League, FIFA, NRL Australia, Australian Football League and Indian Premier League. It conducts its business through subsidiaries and group companies spread across jurisdictions such as India, Singapore, the Middle East, Australia, and the UK and US.

“The global transaction involved legal diligence of the offshore entities and liaising with various offshore counsel,” said Darshika Kothari, a partner at AZB & Partners. “Since the transaction comprised both a primary investment in the target, as well as a combination of primary and secondary investments in Technology Frontiers [Techfront, an affiliate of GSC] … [it] involved significant structuring after factoring inputs from the promoters, ADV Partners – the existing financial investor – as well as [private equity firm] FidelisWorld – the outgoing investor.”

Chennai-based Techfront designs, develops and manages LED digital solutions for the sports, entertainment and media sectors.

J Sagar Associates advised Techfront and its promoters on the investment made by EM Holdco I, KKR’s Asian media investment platform, in Techfront’s holding company Insight Asia Investment Holdings. The team comprised partner Aarthi Sivanandh, principal associate Bhavana Alexander and associate Bhargavi Ravi.

“The multiple parties and jurisdictions at play, from a business angle, made it a challenging and complex task for the deal team to complete the transaction within the timelines required by the parties,” Alexander told Asia Business Law Journal.

AZB & Partners advised EM Holdco I on all aspects of the deal. In addition to Kothari, the team comprised partners Divya Mundra and Ami Parikh, and senior associate Vasudha Asher.

Dechert advised ADV Partners, Techfront’s existing shareholder. Shardul Amarchand Mangaldas & Co acted for Fidelis World.

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