October 21, 2014 — Production Resource Group, L.L.C. (PRG), the world’s leading supplier of entertainment and event technology headquartered in New York, is acquiring Dubai-based Gearhouse, L.L.C., the largest provider of turnkey event production services across the Gulf Region. PRG Chairman & CEO Jeremiah J. Harris and Peter McCann, the Managing Director of Gearhouse, L.L.C jointly announced the acquisition today.
Founded in 1994, Gearhouse, L.L.C. has long been established as the market leader with a client portfolio that includes international touring artists The Rolling Stones, Muse, Rihanna, Eric Clapton, and The Prodigy, along with leading global production companies, government agencies and a growing list of key regional venue partners.
For PRG’s worldwide clients this acquisition means that they will now have access to a complete range of technical expertise and production resource solutions when working in the United Arab Emirates and Gulf Region. PRG can now ensure that their clients can be confident in the quality of product, production expertise, and professionalism when working in this important and quickly expanding event location.
“By acquiring Gearhouse, we will be able to significantly increase our local support for our many customers that produce events and shows in Dubai and the Gulf Region”, said PRG’s Harris. “Now we can offer them the same high level of customer service and innovative, reliable technical solutions as our clients expect, wherever they are producing an event.”
With immediate effect, Gearhouse, L.L.C. will be rebranded PRG Gearhouse as its Dubai headquarters joins PRG’s network of over 40 locations in key cities across the US, UK, Germany, France, Belgium, Spain, The Netherlands, Switzerland, China, Australia, Argentina, and Japan.
Tom Van Hemelryck, PRG’s Vice President, Global Special Events, comments: “Gearhouse is a tremendous addition to PRG’s global team. With their talent, knowledge, expertise and existing client base, Gearhouse will allow PRG to unlock significant potential in this fast growing market. I’m personally delighted to be playing a significant role in this new venture and look forward to the obvious advantages of having people and equipment on the ground when servicing our existing global clients who have become increasingly attracted to delivering events in this region.”
“We have a market here that is rapidly maturing and I regard the creation of PRG Gearhouse as a significant milestone in that process,” comments Peter McCann, co-founder and Managing Director of Gearhouse, L.L.C. “Over the last 20 years, we have established a client base that has become more sophisticated in their expectations of the standard of delivery and of what production really means. As PRG Gearhouse we will be able to exceed their expectations as we will undoubtedly attract the best levels of talent to our region because PRG’s reputation is second to none.”
McCann’s long-term vision for Gearhouse was to be part of a like-minded global organization. “Aside from organizational synergies, we felt PRG shared our highest level of customer service and operational best practices in how we deliver production solutions to our clients and our role in driving internationally recognised health & safety standards in this region. PRG shares my belief that there is a significant opportunity to extend Gearhouse from a regional leader to part of a global organization that will allow us to further differentiate ourselves from regional competition and strengthen our ability to service our customers.”
Leading a workforce of more than 100 full-time employees, McCann’s management team – Bruce MacLean, General Manager; Lee Price, Director of Planning; Dave Emery, Director of Operations; and Harriet Stewart, Area Sales Manager – share the excitement of merging the skills of their existing staff and technical inventory with those of PRG’s global assets.
One of the key benefits of the acquisition will be the way PRG Gearhouse will be able to interact with its European and UK colleagues to strategically utilize resources throughout the entire year. “Our summer normally equates to three and a half months of quiet business, and because of temperatures of around 50°C (112°F), it is impossible to stage outdoor events,” says McCann. “Meanwhile, we have an expansive inventory of premium LED stock, moving lights, rigging, automation, backline, and audio systems including L-Acoustics’ K2 line arrays sitting idle. That will no longer be the case because we’re delivering at a level that absolutely matches what PRG offers in Europe during the festival season. As a consequence, our own people are now able add to their career development by playing a valuable part in those European festivals at a different level than any other company in this market can offer. Conversely, the Dubai office will now have greater access to human and technical resources in our busy season between October and April.”
Short- and long-term exchanges of staff between PRG Gearhouse and other territories within the PRG group are expected in the future, providing what Peter McCann regards as an “idyllic opportunity” to cross-train, pool market intelligence, and broaden cultural experience.
“As an employer, the ability to present to the current staff the prospect of them working for the largest production services provider in the world is one of the most exciting moments in my career,” comments McCann. “Moreover, this market likes to do business with proven players and our clients are now working with the biggest of them all along with the level of technology and quality of execution that they have seen on the Olympic Games and other seriously high profile global events,” McCann says. “Our government clients are just as excited because they know this is a great brand builder for the region, so there is an enormous amount of confidence out here right now.”
“I look forward to working closely with Gearhouse, who know this region so well,” on the many opportunities to support both existing and new clients, Harris concludes. “PRG and Gearhouse are extremely well aligned as both companies provide a multi-discipline, integrated product to our clients. I am impressed with what Peter and his team have built at Gearhouse. The joining of our two companies, I am confident will be to the benefit of our clients, which is our top priority.”
Subject to customary closing conditions, the closing of the acquisition is expected to be effective on October 31, 2014