After 29 years as a privately-held provider of mobile HD production facilities, Trio Video has been acquired by Pittsburg-based NEP, the world’s largest truck vendor operating more than 50 trucks throughout North America.
Owners Gary Meagher and Jack Walsh, who founded the business in 1983 with the late Dick Shapiro (hence the Trio name) closed the deal at 11 a.m. March 21. Terms of the sale were not disclosed.
“This is a great story about a company sticking it out over the years, the incredible loyalty of its clients and forging a market in cutting edge music festival coverage,” says Peter Kimball, senior account manager.
Meagher and Walsh, who say they are “thrilled to join the NEP team,” will stay on with their new owners to help run the Trio brand. In the near term, “NEP will maintain Trio’s Chicago facility, with operational functions coordinated out of NEP’s headquarters in Pittsburgh,” Kimball notes.
Trio Video, its four HD trucks, most all of its 30 employees, including its esteemed engineering and support staff, are now operating as part of NEP’s Supershooters division.
NEP, which also operates Denali and Sweetwater divisions, “is everywhere in the entertainment industry,” says Kimball. “The Oscars, Grammys, Tonys, Monday Night Football – you name it and an NEP truck is covering the event. In fact, NEP will be here for the Conan O’Brien show in in June.
What attracted NEP to Trio Video was both Trio’s music festival and sports clients. “We’ve had trucks at every single music festival — including Coachella, Austin City Limits, Lollapalooza – since they started,” says Kimball, noting that their on-site operation is completely tapeless and hard drive-driven.
Trio Video is also a factor in television sports coverage and from the time the company started with one truck in 1983, it can be found at Cubs, White Sox, Bulls, Blackhawks and other major sports events for clients Comcast SportsNet Chicago, WGN/9 and ESPN.
“This acquisition was a great fit for both companies,” says NEP’s CEO Kevin Rabbitt. “Both NEP and Trio have similar cultures, rooted in supporting our talented people as they deliver superior service to our clients.”
NEP is the broadcasting business of $8 billion private equity firm American Securities, whose other portfolio companies include Chicago-based Potbelly Sandwich Works and Chicago-based Lakeside Energy LLC.