College sports-focused media rights and technology company Learfield has announced that it has completed debt reduction measures and strengthened its financial position.

Learfield reduced its debt by more than $600 million after completing a deleveraging transaction with its lenders and equity partners, securing a further $150 million in equity investment in the process.

The deleveraging maneuver means that the company will now have greater financial flexibility in its operations. Learfield states it will use the funds to “fuel innovation and growth” across its operations.

Cole Gahagan, Learfield president & chief executive, said: “Over the last several years, Learfield has been a leader in innovation and growth throughout the college sports and entertainment industries, and this reboot of our capital structure only positions us for even greater success in the years to come. We’re just getting started.”

The deal means that Learfield’s ownership structure has changed. The company’s majority owners are now those companies that have provided the most capital into Learfield, US private-equity firms Clearlake Capital Group, Charlesbank Capital Partners, and Fortress Investment Group LLC, whose affiliates manage funds invested in Learfield.

James Pade, managing director and partner at Clearlake, added: “We believe that this transaction, Clearlake’s [operational improvement framework] resources, and the new capital provided will advance Learfield’s position in college athletics and fuel the Company’s ability to create opportunities for schools and brands to build new communities and experiences for college sports fans.”

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By GlobalData

Through its operations, Learfield helps schools and colleges monetize collegiate sports by aiding merchandise licensing and proliferating partnerships. It connects universities with brand partners and sports organizations to help build relationships with fans.

Most recently, the firm extended and expanded its tie-up with stock car racing series Nascar. Through a deal unveiled in August, Nascar became a partner of the University of South Carolina’s sporting program for the first time and extended its tie-up with the equivalent program at the University of Alabama into a second year.