Event Tech, AV Company PSAV Acquired by Goldman Sachs

November 21, 2013

Event technology and audiovisual company PSAV has made two big deals recently.

In the first one, the company has entered into a definitive agreement to be acquired by affiliates of Goldman Sachs from its current private equity owner Kelso & Company.

The second deal involves PSAV purchasing Visual Aids Electronics, with plans to merge it under the PSAV banner.

“This is truly an exciting time for our organization,” said Mike McIlwain, president and CEO of PSAV.

He added, “This investment by Goldman Sachs is a vote of confidence in our team members and our commitment to the meetings and event industry. Through this partnership, our customers can expect accelerated access to inspirational event technology, expertise and support.”

PSAV opened in 1937 and expanded its services during the years to meetings and conventions to include high-definition imaging, computer interfaces, rigging, power distribution, component video, special effects, concert sound and lighting, HSIA, virtual events and traditional equipment.


“We look forward to working with PSAV to help them provide more services to more customers in more places,” said Brad Gross, managing director Goldman Sachs.

He added,“PSAV already offers customers a unique resource in terms of their geographic coverage and range of services, and we are excited to partner with them as we plan for future expansion.”

Just a few days after making the initial acquisition announcement, PSAV also revealed it was buying Visual Aids Electronics, which provides meeting presentation services through three main offices in Richmond, Va., Cincinnati and Phoenix, and smaller warehouses in Washington, D.C. and San Francisco.

VAE’s partnership portfolio includes agreements with more than 75 major hotels, resorts, convention and conference centers in 24 states from coast to coast.



“A merger between PSAV and VAE is the next evolution in the growth and development of the company,” stated Jack C. Cassell, president and CEO of VAE. “I believe PSAV is the best company to carry on the success we have built at VAE.”



McIlwain added, “I have been impressed by the operations of VAE for many years and am thrilled to add their capabilities into PSAV. The acquisition of VAE will provide greater service coverage for our hotel partners and customers, while adding additional services such as simultaneous interpretation. We are all truly excited about what this merger means to our industry as a whole.”



For the Goldman Sachs deal, Barclays and Macquarie Capital are serving as financial advisors to PSAV and Debevoise & Plimpton LLP is serving as legal counsel to PSAV. Affiliates of Macquarie Capital currently have a preferred equity investment in PSAV.

Goldman Sachs Investment Banking is serving as financial advisor to Goldman Sachs and Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP is serving as legal counsel to Goldman Sachs.

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