Just think, you too could have purchased Avid Technology if you had a mere $1.4 billion dollars in cash laying around. Talk about a deal!

This is the company that owns both Avid Media Composer and Pro Tools and is perhaps the most consistently revered name in motion picture editing since the moviola.

When rumors of an Avid sale first trickled out, we wrote about what a potential deal might look like for the company and the future of Avid Media Composer. And, now that day is finally here, we can turn those speculations into… well, more speculations.

Avid announced today that they have “entered into a definitive agreement” to be acquired by an affiliate of the private equity firm STG for the meager price tag of $1.4 billion. As to what that actually means in terms of the future of Avid’s legacy softwares and apps, we’ll have to still wait and see a bit longer.

But here’s what we know so far.

Avid Sells Out (Finally)

STG + Avid

Credit: Golben News Wire

From Avid’s official statement on the deal, this appears to be an all-cash transaction that values Avid at around $1.4 billion, including Avid’s net debt. Under the agreement, anyone with shares of Avid stock will receive $27.05 in cash for each share from a purchase price which represents a premium of 32.1 percent over the company’s unaffected share price dated back to May 23, 2023.

Here’s a statement from Avid’s CEO:

"Since our founding over 30 years ago, Avid has delivered technology that enables individuals and enterprises who create media for a living to make, manage and monetize today’s most celebrated video and audio content across the globe. We are pleased to announce this transaction with STG, who share our conviction and excitement in delivering innovative technology solutions to address our customers’ creative and business needs.
STG’s expertise in the technology sector and significant financial and strategic resources will help accelerate the achievement of our strategic vision, building on the momentum of our successful transformation achieved over the past several years. This transaction represents the start of an exciting new chapter for Avid, our customers, our partners and our team members and is a testament to the importance of Avid and our solutions in powering the media and entertainment industry.” — Jeff Rosica, Avid’s Chief Executive Officer and President

It’s interesting to note that the transaction was unanimously approved by Avid’s Board of Directors and it’s expected to officially close by the end of 2023—although it is still subject to Avid stockholder approval, plus other regulatory approvals and customary closing conditions.

What We Know About STG

\u200bSome of the STG's investment companies

Severalof the STG's investment companies

Credit: STG

When we first wrote about a potential sale of Avid, a lot of speculators and comments seemed to focus on what acquisition of the legacy NLE developer could potentially mean and offer to a company like Apple or Adobe as a way to beat the competition, as well as possibly integrate the NLE software into their own designs.

Well, that didn’t happen. And without having any inside knowledge we can’t speculate on whether any sale discussions even happened with the above brands. Instead, we’re left with a sale to a private equity firm called Symphony Technology Group (STG) based in California.

According to STG’s website, their global portfolio of companies focuses on “market leaders across the mid-market software and software-enabled tech services landscape,” and includes more than 50 global companies in this space including the likes of McAfee (now Trellix).

What Will This Mean for Avid Media Composer?

So, the big question now is the same as before: What is this going to ultimately mean for Avid Media Composer? Since being launched back in 1992 as the first non-linear digital editing system to capture and edit natively at 24fps, Avid’s flagship legacy NLE software has been a mainstay in the professional film and video editing world.

First developed on Mac, then on Windows, AVID became the dominant NLE system in the film and television industry by the mid-to-late 1990s and has been used to edit major motion pictures as recently and as big as Top Gun: Maverick and Avatar: The Way of Water.

And while we don’t have figures on its usage rate today, it’s widely regarded as one of the top four NLE software somewhere in the mix with Adobe Premiere Pro, Apple Final Cut Pro, and DaVinci Resolve. So there’s a lot at stake for current (or perhaps even future) Avid Media Composer users.

From early speculations online, it doesn’t sound like anything should change anytime soon. The sale is now in its first stages, so it should take at least several more months to close. From there, some have speculated that STG could still in theory sell off parts of Avid's business, including Media Composer and Pro Tools, to the likes of other interested brands that didn’t want the entire company.

So, could Apple or Adobe still actually be in play? We’ll keep you posted on any more updates or rumors, but for now, we can rest assured that Avid Media Composer isn’t going anywhere for a bit.