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Bruin acquires turf management giant PlayGreen

Featured image credit: Nelson Ndongala on Unsplash

Investment and operating company Bruin Capital has agreed a deal to become the majority shareholder of PlayGreen, which owns Stadium Grow Lighting (SGL) and ALVA Technology.

PlayGreen’s proprietary technology and research and development systems are currently responsible for the growth and maintenance of surfaces for more than 600 international sports teams, leagues and governing bodies around the world.

The investment from Bruin will see PlayGreen prioritise global expansion, with a particular focus on the US. PlayGreen will also look to broaden its capabilities through investment and mergers and acquisitions in complementary products, technology, and services.

According to the New York Times, the deal values PlayGreen at $120m (£96m/€112m).

Following the transaction, Mark Trubenbacher will remain in his position as president, alongside fellow leadership team members Frank v. Beusekom, who serves as managing director at SGL, and Scott Bogner, managing director at ALVA.

PlayGreen was founded in 1997 and its clients include the Dallas Cowboys, Green Bay Packers, Boston Red Sox, Wimbledon, Arsenal (pictured), Tottenham Hotspur, Twickenham, Bayern Munich, FC Barcelona and Los Angeles FC.

George Pyne, Bruin Capital founder and chief executive, said: “We are often asked, ‘How has technology disrupted the sports business?’ SGL is a perfect example. A team of visionary entrepreneurs developed a suite of proprietary products and services to become leaders in a sector that never existed but is now crucial to the commercial ecosystem of our industry.”

Pyne added: “From purely a financial perspective, athletes are extraordinarily valuable assets, and safeguarding them means providing the healthiest and safest turf. And now, team and venue owners and operators are maximising the number of events they host, putting even greater pressure on field maintenance.

“Against that, SGL is – by far and away – the best at using technology to control the growing environment, and while already trusted by a who’s who in international sports, this company has much more ahead. We can’t wait to get started.”

Trubenbacher said: “This is an exciting moment for our company. We found George and the team unique because they feel genuinely responsible for creating value and growing our business. It’s something we heard throughout our search process and have already experienced.

“Bruin also has an impressive track record for working with digital and technology companies and helping them expand into America and worldwide, which was our key priority. Our entire team is looking forward to working with Bruin.”

PlayGreen has a pool of billions of data points on field growth conditions. The data is collected by a suite of proprietary products and 24/7 live monitoring tools deployed worldwide by stadium groundskeepers and venue managers.

These products include LED and high-pressure sodium lighting systems, Turf Pods for above and below-ground evaluations, disease management tools, and a management dashboard with growth models and predictive maintenance support for grounds teams and stadium managers.