• Media & Telecom

Businesses in France and the United Kingdom are Europe’s Largest Club-Based Marketers of DVD, CD and Video Game Entertainment


LOS ANGELES (Jan. 17, 2005) – Platinum Equity announced today that it has acquired Universal Group Direct and DIAL – Europe’s largest club-based marketers of DVD, CD and video game entertainment – from Vivendi Universal.


Financial terms were not disclosed. The two businesses serve about 1.5 million active customers and generate annual revenue of approximately €170 million.


“These are the leading home entertainment distribution clubs in Europe, with a loyal base of longstanding customers and strong relationships with premier media and entertainment companies whose products they distribute,” said Brian Wall, Platinum Equity’s managing director for Europe.


Universal Group Direct is based in the United Kingdom and DIAL in France. They generate revenue from a club model in which customers contract via an introductory offer to purchase entertainment products over time. Platinum intends to operate the two under a unified business strategy that leverages best practices at both.



“This is a very attractive investment for us in a business that generates recurring revenue from a large membership base and has great potential for growth – particularly as the DVD market expands in Europe,” Mr. Wall said.


The acquisition was completed in late December, and a transition is now underway. Ross Young, senior vice president for operations at Platinum, is leading the transition. Mr. Young said UGD and DIAL are at the forefront of businesses using technology and online tools to enhance their business-to-consumer distribution model.


“We are very excited about these businesses and their potential for future growth,” Mr. Young said. “We believe Platinum’s operations team can add significant value in helping the management team integrate complementary functions and create an efficient and flexible platform for growth.”



About Platinum Equity

Platinum Equity (www.platinumequity.com) is a global M&A&O® firm specialized in the merger, acquisition and operation of mission-critical services and solutions companies. Since its founding in 1995, Platinum Equity has acquired more than 50 businesses and built a portfolio of companies with nearly 40,000 employees and more than 600,000 customer sites. With revenue approaching $8 billion, Platinum Equity in 2004 was named the 32nd largest private company in the United States by Forbes magazine.


About Vivendi Universal

Vivendi Universal is a leader in media and telecommunications with activities in television and film (Canal+ Group), music (Universal Music Group), interactive games (VU Games) and fixed mobile telecommunications (SFR Cegetel Group and Maroc Telecom).


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