Learfield Sports Sells Majority Stake To Shamrock Capital Advisors
Learfield Sports, a pioneer in collegiate marketing, has sold a majority stake of the company to an L.A.-based private equity firm. Shamrock Capital Advisors, which also has stakes in the Harlem Globetrotters and Thought Equity Motion, as well as other media and technology companies, bought what Learfield described as a “significant majority.” The selling price was not available. Learfield’s management will stay intact and employees will notice “minimal disruption,” said Greg Brown, who will retain his title as President & CEO.
Clyde Lear, who founded Learfield in '72 and had previously owned a majority share, will retain a minority share along with Brown and three other Learfield senior execs who have an ownership stake. A five-person board will be installed to oversee Learfield, with three of the positions going to Shamrock. The multimedia rights holder with HQs in Jefferson City, Mo., has 48 schools, most notably blue-chippers Alabama, North Carolina, Oklahoma and Penn State, as well as the Big Ten and Missouri Valley conferences, making Learfield one of the two most prevalent college rights holders, along with IMG College. Learfield also has marketing rights at Rupp Arena and the KFC Yum! Center. The company will make a formal announcement on Monday.