Beringea, the Farmington Hills private equity firm, has sold its stake in Saffron Digital, a developer of video delivery platforms, to HTC Corp., a global designer of smartphones. 

In 2007, Beringea invested $1.85 million in Saffron Digital through its London office. The deal values the company at $48 million and generated an internal rate of return of 65 percent and a 5.8-times return for Beringea.

“We recognized some years ago the potential of mobile to drive digital media adoption and the great investment opportunity Saffron represented,” said Beringea chief investment officer Trevor Hope. “The success of Saffron demonstrates what a digital media company in the U.K. can achieve when a dedicated, highly-skilled management team is able to draw on experienced and knowledgeable investment.”

Added David McDonald, COO of Saffron Digital: “We’re delighted in our new partnership with HTC which enables us to broaden our horizons and tackle new markets such as China, but we’re obviously grateful to our investors like Beringea who have enabled us to get to this stage. A great result for all concerned.”

Saffron is a global video delivery platform company with offices in Beverly Hills, Calif., London, Rome and Dubai. The company’s products and services are live in 26 countries and 14 languages. Founded by CEO Shashi Fernando in 2003 and previously known as Filmnight, Saffron has become a pivotal player in the mobile space. Its technology enables users to access video content via personal mobile deceives such as smartphones, tablets or laptops.

In 2010, Saffron won Best Video Service Provider for the second year running at the Mobile Entertainment Awards and the company’s exceptional year on year growth secured its place in the Media Momentum Top 50, the Tech Media Invest Top 100 and Deloitte Technology Fast 50.

Beringea’s exit from Saffron is a further example of the firm’s successful track record of investing in the digital media sector. Its previous investments in the sector have included Mergermarket, which realized a 14-times return on investment when sold to the Financial Times, and ilG Digital, which delivered an IRR of 115 percnet and a 3.4-times return.

Beringea is an international private equity firm with more than 70 portfolio companies in the U.S. and U.K. and offices in London and Shanghai.

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