Posts Tagged ‘FCC’

Vitec Group Announces Intention to Divest IMT Wireless Communications and Microwave Business

Broadcast technology vendor financials, Broadcast Vendor M&A | Posted by Joe Zaller
Aug 19 2014

The Vitec Group, which owns more than a dozen brands in the broadcast industry said that it has decided to exit its Integrated Microwave Technologies (IMT) business unit, which provides wireless microwave products.

The announcement was made in an investor presentation that accompanied Vitec’s earnings announcement for the first half of 2014.

However, company executives stressed that, until a transaction occurs, it will continue to manufacture, sell, support, and honor the warranty of all IMT products provided to its broadcast customers.

Vitec’s IMT business includes three brands: Nucomm, RF Central, and Microwave Services Company.

Vitec IMT Brands - Nucomm, RF Central, Microwave Svs Co

Vitec’s IMT business posted a loss of £1.1m during the first half of 2014, compared to a profit of £1.4m for the same period a year ago.  IMT’s 1H 2014 revenue was £5.8m, down 35% versus the same period last year.

For the full year 2013, IMT broke even on revenue of £14m, which included a large profitable contract from the US Department of Justice, worth approximately £3.4m.

The company says that the disposal for IMT will allow it to focus its Videocom business on its core broadcast activities.

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Vitec acquired Nucomm and RF Central in a transaction valued at up to $73m in June 2007.

At that time, Vitec said the deal would immediately enhance its earnings, and that “the acquisition is an excellent fit with Vitec’s Broadcast Systems division. The acquired companies sell to similar customers and Vitec’s infrastructure is expected to provide opportunities for further growth internationally.”

The purchase of Nucomm and RF Central coincided with the start of a huge wave of spending related to the 2.4 Ghz Broadcast Auxiliary Service (BAS) Relocation Project, whereby wireless operator Sprint, in response to a 2004 FCC decision, implemented a program to resolve ongoing interference between public safety and commercial operations in the 800MHz band.

By the time of the project’s official completion in 2010, Sprint had spent about $750 million and broadcasters had moved their ENG and other contribution applications to new compressed digital channels between 2025MHz and 2110MHz.  Sprint said more than 1,000 engineers were employed during the project and that as many as 100,000 pieces of microwave and ENG equipment were installed.

The strategy paid off almost immediately for Vitec, which said the following in its full year results for 2007:  “RF Systems is performing well, with sales and operating profit in the seven months of Vitec ownership of £23.5 million and £3.3 million respectively. Pro-forma 12-month sales and operating profit for 2007 were £32.2 million and £5.2 million. Both RF Central and Nucomm, have launched well-received ‘High Definition’ products that will maintain our competitive position. 2008 and 2009 results will be buoyed by revenue from the BAS relocation project, which is expected to fall away by 2010.”

Today however, Vitec says that its IMT business is now “relatively small part of our business, which provides wireless microwave products for the Military, Aerospace and Government (MAG) markets.”

Vitec explained the rationale for the decision to exit IMT saying: “We have attempted to grow IMT in an increasingly challenging market that has become overly price driven. This was recently demonstrated by the award of certain large government contracts to competitors at prices where we would not generate positive returns. There are limited synergies between IMT’s MAG business and other activities within the Group.

“As a result, we have decided to exit the IMT business and we are accessing our options of a sale or closure. Our preliminary assessment of the net exit costs based on closing the business is an exceptional one-off pre-tax charge in the region of c.£5.5 million, after foreign exchange recycling, of which c.£5.0 million is anticipated to be a cash outflow. We will provide an update on the exit from IMT in due course.”

In addition to anticipated fall-off in business following the completion of the BAS relocation project, another likely catalyst for Vitec’s decision to sell the IMT business is the strong performance by Teradek, which Vitec acquired in August 2013 for up to $15m.

The chart below, from Vitec’s 1H 2014 earnings call with equity analysts describes the declining sales at IMT and strong growth by Teradek, and announces the company’s intent to divest IMT in order to focus on its core broadcast activities.

 

Vitec 1H 2014 with IMT & Teradek outlined

 

According to Vitec’s most recent earnings announcement, “the Teradek business that we acquired in H2 2013 is performing well with strong growth post-acquisition. The business continues to develop innovative products, including the new Bolt wireless transmitter that was released in July 2014 and further product launches are planned for later in the year.”

Based on the success of Teradek during the period, Vitec made a $3.2m “earnout” payment to Teradek’s former shareholders in March 2014. This consisted of $2.4m in cash, and 72,933 new Vitec ordinary shares worth a further $800,000.

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Related Content:

Vitec Group 1H 2014 Results: Videocom Down 1%, Bexel up 39.9%

Broadcast Vendor M&A: Vitec Buys Teradek for $15 Million

Press Release (2007): The Vitec Group Plc Acquisitions of Nucomm and RF Central

Vitec Group 2007 Full Year Results: A Year of Strong Growth

Vitec Group Presentation (2007): “RF Systems ‘Consolidate and Grow” announcing purchase of Nucomm and RF Central

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© Devoncroft Partners 2009 – 2014. All Rights Reserved.

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Broadcast Vendor M&A: Telestream Buys Captioning Provider CPC

broadcast industry technology trends, Broadcast Vendor M&A | Posted by Joe Zaller
Aug 20 2013

Transcoding and workflow vendor Telestream announced that it has acquired Computer Prompting and Captioning (CPC).

Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

CPC, which has about 10 employees according to an article in the Sacramento Business Journal, provides captioning technologies for a variety of professional applications. The company was founded in 1986 by Dilip. Som and Sid Hoffman and has a long history of innovation.

Telestream says the CPC deal will bring it “deep expertise in captioning, which will benefit the company’s current and long term product strategies.”  Telestream also says that its transcoding, workflow automation, live streaming and web publishing products will all benefit from the addition of CPC’s technology.

“CPC is a recognized leader in captioning for television and the Web, whose customers include media and entertainment companies, educational institutions, and houses of worship,” said Telestream founder and CEO Dan Castles. “Our customers at all levels need tools to author and distribute captioning in a more integrated way. This is a natural extension of what we do, and we look forward to integrating CPC’s world-class technology into all of our products.”

 

Second Subtitling M&A Deal in 2013

This is the second acquisition this year of a captioning/subtitling technology provider.  In January 2013, Miranda announced that it had acquired UK-based Softel for an undisclosed amount.

So why the sudden interest in captioning and subtitling by established industry players?

Captions and subtitles have long been required by law, and the “Twenty-First Century Communications & Video Accessibility Act” in the United States took this requirement further by mandating that certain internet video content must also be subtitles.

According to the FCC’s Implementation Schedule for Captioning Internet Video Programming:

  • Live and near-live video programming must be captioned on the Internet if it is shown on TV with captions (as of March 31, 2013)

 

  • Pre-recorded video programming that is substantially edited for the Internet must be captioned if it is shown on TV with captions on or after September 30, 2013.

 

These regulations puts tremendous pressure on broadcasters, media companies, and content owners – and therefore provides opportunities for technology vendors like Telestream and Miranda who have snapped up providers of these solutions.

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Related Content:

Press Release: Telestream Acquires Captioning Leader CPC

Sacramento Business Journal: Telestream acquires Computer Prompting and Captioning Co.

CPC History: The Interesting Story of How CPC Got Started

CPC Milestones

Broadcast Vendor M&A: Miranda Buys Softel

Federal Communications Commission — Twenty-First Century Communications and Video Accessibility Act

Federal Communications Commission — Captioning of Internet Video Programming

More Broadcast Vendor M&A: Private Equity Firm Acquires Telestream

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© Devoncroft Partners 2009 – 2013. All Rights Reserved.

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Sinclair Buys Dielectric Assets

broadcast industry trends, Broadcast Vendor M&A | Posted by Joe Zaller
Jun 18 2013

Not the typical type of M&A story we seen, but significant nonetheless.

Sinclair Broadcast Group, said today that it has entered into a definitive agreement to purchase the assets of Dielectric from SPX Corporation, for an “immaterial and leverage neutral purchase price.”

Maine-based Dielectric is the nation’s largest manufacturer of broadcast television, radio and wireless antennas, transmission lines, and RF systems.

Recently, Dielectric was abruptly shut down by parent company SPX, creating a critical shortage of transmission-related components just as US government plans for spectrum auctions and repacking were being finalized. According to many broadcasters, the continued availability of equipment produced by Dielectric is crucial to their ability to meet the government’ aggressive timetable for spectrum repacking.

Commenting on the transaction, David Smith, President and CEO of Sinclair stated, “Dielectric has supplied more than two-thirds of the TV industry’s high power antennas and its name is synonymous with expert engineering and quality products.  We feel fortunate to have this opportunity to acquire the Dielectric intellectual property and assets related to our most critical infrastructure.  This acquisition was a logical choice given our in-house RF engineering expertise and our ownership of Acrodyne Services, which installs and services broadcast transmitters and mobile DTV upgrades. Further, if and when a spectrum repack occurs, Dielectric will be there to support that effort.”

Dielectric will be operated as a wholly-owned subsidiary of Sinclair (Dielectric, LLC) with a management and operational team comprised of capable, experienced individuals drawn from the Dielectric staff.   Dielectric will maintain operations at their present facility in Raymond, Maine.

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Related Content:

Press Release: Sinclair Broadcast Group Announces Agreement To Purchase The Assets Of Dielectric

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© Devoncroft Partners 2009 – 2013. All Rights Reserved.

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TV New Check “Tech One on One” Interview

broadcast industry technology trends, broadcast technology market research | Posted by Joe Zaller
Apr 08 2010

I was recently interviewed by Harry Jessell, editor of industry website TVNewsCheck.com about my 2010 study of the broadcast market.

Jessell published the interview today as part of his “Tech One on One” series, which profiles key technology players in the broadcast market.  In it he asks me a number of question about industry trends, major projects being planned by US broadcasters, the capex plans of broadcasters, and which product categories I thnk will do well this year based on my research.  We also discussed 3D, which as I’ve said before,  I am skeptical about when it comes to the average US broadcaster.

You can find the full interview here.

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