October 10, 2012
Kelso & Company, a private equity firm located in New York, has signed a definitive agreement to acquire Swank Audio Visuals®, LLC.
Swank Audio Visuals provides audiovisual and event technology services within the hotel, resort, meetings and conference center industries.The majority of Swank’s services are provided via relationships whereby the company acts as the preferred outsource service provider to more than 375 hotels and resorts throughout the United States, Canada and the Middle East. Swank also provides its services by offering a destination events department that operates at multiple venues and locations.
Kelso is also the owner of PSAV® Presentation Services, the leading provider of audiovisual equipment and services to the meeting and event industries. Kelso plans to merge Swank and PSAV to create the industry’s single leading source of audiovisual and event technology support.
“PSAV and Swank are industry leaders with impressive histories of growth, innovation, and best-in-class customer service,” said Steve Dutton, Vice President at Kelso. “With PSAV and Swank as one combined entity, hoteliers will benefit from a single source of audiovisual and technology support for every size hotel and event around the world.”
“Swank is very excited about this partnership and the wealth of benefits it will provide our team members, hotel partners and customers, as well as the event technology industry as a whole,” said Greg Diekemper, President and CEO of Swank Audio Visuals. “We feel this merger will provide our hotel partners and customers with greater access to innovative new technology, as well as a deeper pool of highly trained, experienced personnel to operate it.”
“The entire team at PSAV is thrilled about Kelso’s purchase of Swank Audio Visuals and the impending merger of the two companies,” said Mike McIlwain, President and CEO of PSAV. “This opportunity provides a multitude of advantages for the industry. Combining our companies’ strengths will give meeting planners and producers unparalleled access to advanced audiovisual and event technology support throughout the United States and the world."
Barclays and Macquarie Capital served as advisors to Kelso, and are arranging financing for the transaction.
About Kelso & Company
Kelso & Company is one of the oldest and most established firms specializing in private equity investing. Since 1980, Kelso has made investments in over 115 companies in a broad range of industry sectors.
About Swank Audio Visuals®
Founded in 1937, Swank Audio Visuals is celebrating its 75th anniversary in 2012. The Company has a rich legacy of providing technical expertise and resources, creative set designs and advanced equipmen t for the event industry. Provided with a hospitality approach, its services include audio, video, lighting, stage design, production, webcasting/webarchiving, 3D renderings and Mobile Meeting Manager (M3), a customizable web-based app providing event information on attendees’ smartphones and tablets. Headquartered in St. Louis, MO, Swank employs more than 1,800 talented professionals in a pproximately 375 destination resorts and hotels in 70 major markets, representing more than 165 cities in the U.S., Canada and Middle East.
About PSAV® Presentation Services
PSAV provides the ideas and technology that inspire great meetings. This has made PSAV the leading provider of event technology for meeting planners and producers across the corporate, association, and tradeshow markets. PSAV provides an unparalleled range of event technology to support its customers’ ability to create, collaborate, and communicate. With more than 800 partner locations worldwide, PSAV provides people and resources right where you want to have your meeting. www.psav.com
Greg Van Dyke