Technicolor is to sell its Grass Valley Broadcast and Professional business to Francisco Partners, a US-based technology investment company.

The deal includes the staff, the complete product portfolio, the R&D centres and manufacturing facilities and all current customer contracts and support agreements.

The Transmission and Headend businesses, which is currently being separated from Grass Valley Broadcast & Professional, is not included and will be sold separately.

In a letter to customers, senior vice president Jeff Rosica said: “Organizations all over the world are dealing with issues presented to them by the economic slowdown and overall industry challenges. We believe this is the ideal time for creating a new beginning for Grass Valley, and to create a business that is perfectly in tune with our rapidly changing markets.”

He also said that during the sale period he expected Grass Valley business to be “very much business as usual.”

Since its inception, Francisco Partners has invested in excess of $4 billion of equity capital in over 50 technology companies. It was founded to “pursue structured investments in technology and technology-based companies with a strong foundation and secure market position.”

The Grass Valley deal should be completed by the end of 2010.

No financial details were revealed but the name Grass Valley is expected to be retained.

Technicolor, previously Thomson, decided to sell the company in 2009 as part of its desire to “redirect and focus the company’s strategic direction on services offered to content creators.”

Grass Valley makes cameras, desktop editing systems, production switchers, production automation products, news production systems, video servers and storage, routers and master control switchers.