SBD/July 31, 2013/Media

Mandalay Sports Media Hopes Investment Helps It Grow Its Content Business

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Private equity firms Columbia Capital and Rho Ventures completed an undisclosed investment in Mandalay Sports Media that will allow the year-old company to grow its content business and allow it to acquire some sports media entities -- including programming or companies -- and invest in others. "Having financial capital available to make strategic investments gives us a unique standing in the marketplace," said Peter Guber, Mandalay Sports Media co-Chair and Mandalay Entertainment Group Chair & CEO. "It gives us more credibility. We don't need funding to make programming. This gives us gravitas to separate ourselves from a huge number of the wannabees." As part of the investment, Columbia Capital and Rho Ventures will take minority equity stakes in Mandalay Sports Media. Columbia Capital Partner Jeff Patterson and Rho Ventures Managing Partner Mark Leschly will join the company's BOD. Mandalay Sports Media co-Chair Mike Tollin said the funding will allow his company to grow in the sports media community. Tollin: "There's an opportunity to forge alliances to create joint ventures and bring other entities into our portfolio." Mandalay Sports Media CEO Rich Battista said the investment gives the company the flexibility to grow its content portfolio more quickly. The company has produced programming for networks and digital sites, including documentaries for sports TV companies like ESPN and Turner Sports and movie companies like New Line Cinema and Incognito Pictures. "We pursued this new funding because it allows us to accelerate the growth of our operations and gives us the ability to have access to substantial funding," Battista said.
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