Professional Bull Riders and Spire Capital Partners Team Up to Continue Growth of the Most Exciting Sport on Dirt
PBR, the leading professional bull riding organization, partners with media investor to continue its growth and expansion
New York, NY (March 20, 2007) – It has been announced today that the Professional Bull Riders, Inc. (PBR) and Spire Capital Partners (Spire) have reached an agreement in which Spire will become the majority investor in the leading global professional bull riding organization, subject to shareholder and regulatory approval and closing of the transaction pursuant to the terms of the agreement. This partnership will provide many of the retired bull riders with the opportunity to realize portions of their original investment and will provide PBR with additional resources to continue its significant growth trajectory. This transaction is expected to close in mid-April.
Headquartered in Colorado Springs, Colo., PBR was founded in 1992 by 20 accomplished bull riders who had a vision to make bull riding a stand-alone sport. PBR currently operates four domestic tours, including the Built Ford Tough Series presented by Wrangler, U.S. Smokeless Tobacco Company Challenger Tour, Enterprise Rent-A-Car Tour and Discovery Tour, and has a rapidly growing presence in international markets, including Brazil, Mexico, Australia and Canada. The strength of the PBR brand and the loyalty of the fan base have enabled the PBR to attract an impressive roster of blue-chip sponsors and partners. PBR’s competitions can be viewed regularly on its cable channel partner, VERSUS, every Saturday and Sunday at 8:00 p.m. ET. In addition, the PBR will have nine events televised on the FOX and NBC networks in 2007.
Announcing the partnership, Randy Bernard, Chief Executive Officer of PBR, stated, “We are honored to continue building the preeminent brand in bull riding and providing the highest quality product to our fans, sponsors, television partners and strategic partners. The existing management team will continue running the business and we are thrilled that many of the active and retired riders will maintain a meaningful ownership interest in the PBR.”
“We are extremely pleased to be supporting Randy Bernard, Sean Gleason, and the employees and athletes of the PBR as they continue to build awareness of the sport and provide exciting competition for the fans and compelling value for the corporate sponsors,” stated Rick Patterson of Spire Capital Partners.
Ty Murray, President of the PBR, commented, “I am very excited for the new opportunities this transaction will provide for the PBR. This is a very exciting time for the bull riders that had the vision in 1992. It is a great time for the bull rider of today and a promising time for the bull rider of tomorrow.”
Bear, Stearns & Co. Inc. served as financial advisor to the PBR. Faegre & Benson LLP provided legal counsel to the PBR and Sonnenschein, Nath & Rosenthal provided legal counsel to Spire. Terms of the transaction will not be disclosed.
For more information about the PBR’s partnership with Spire Capital Partners, watch the VERSUS broadcast on Sunday, March 25, 2007 at 8:00 pm ET of the PBR’s Omaha Classic presented by DeeZee.
About the PBR – PBR is the leading global professional bull riding organization founded in 1992 and headquartered in Colorado Springs, Colorado. Over 100 million viewers across the world tune in each year to view the PBR on FOX, NBC, VERSUS and numerous non-domestic networks. With approximately 500 hours of prime time programming annually, PBR ranks among the most prolific sports on air, in addition to attracting over one and one half million live event attendees each year with its multi-tiered event structure which includes the marquee Built Ford Tough Series presented by Wrangler, the U.S. Smokeless Tobacco Company Challenger Tour, the Enterprise Rent-A-Car Tour, and the Discovery Tour, designed specifically for entry level contestants. The PBR has over 1,200 PBR bull riders competing in more than 300 PBR sanctioned competitions in the United States, Australia, Brazil, Canada, and Mexico annually. For further information on PBR, please visit the Company’s website at www.pbrnow.com.
About Spire Capital Partners – Spire Capital Partners, L.P. is a private equity firm founded in 2000 with more than $350 million of capital under management. Spire partners with exceptional management teams to invest in middle market buyouts, recapitalizations, industry consolidations and growth equity investments in the media, communications, information services and business services industries. Spire typically invests in companies with enterprise values from $25 million to $150 million. Since its founding, Spire has successfully made investments in approximately 30 portfolio companies. SkyMall, Sonitrol and American Community Newspapers are among Spire’s current portfolio companies. The firm is headquartered in New York. For further information, please visit our website at www.spirecapital.com.