Posts Tagged ‘rumor’

Thorsteinson Replaces Cross as CEO of Quantel and Snell

Analysis, Broadcast technology vendor financials, Broadcast Vendor M&A, Broadcaster Financial Results | Posted by Joe Zaller
Mar 04 2015

Quantel and Snell announced that Tim Thorsteinson has replaced Ray Cross as CEO, effective immediately.news_Tim_Thorsteinson

According to the company, Thorsteinson “is the ideal individual to lead the next stage in the development of the combined Quantel and Snell.”

Cross, who had been CEO of both Quantel and Snell since March 2014, when it was announced that Quantel had acquired fellow UK-based broadcast technology vendor Snell, a deal that had been long-rumored in the industry, since the two companies already had a common parent, Lloyds Development Capital (LDC), the investment arm of Lloyds Bank.

Previously, Cross had been CEO of Quantel since December 2005.

At the time of the Quantel-Snell deal, the company said in a statement that the combined entity had revenue of more than $170 million and office in 16 locations around the globe, making it one of the larger vendors in the broadcast industry.  The company has not provided an update on its performance since that time.

It will be interesting to see what moves Thorsteinson, a longstanding broadcast industry executive, will make as CEO of Snell and Quantel, companies he has competed against in previous roles.

Thorsteinson is a well-known figure in the broadcast industry having headed-up several of the industry’s largest technology vendors over the past 15 years.

In January 2013, Thorsteinson was named CEO of Grass Valley, replacing Alain Andreoli, who had been appointed by private equity firm Francisco Partners following their 2010 acquisition of Grass Valley from Technicolor.

Just over a year later, Thorsteinson oversaw the $220m sale of Grass Valley to Belden Corporation, who combined it with Miranda, keeping the Grass Valley moniker for the enlarged entity.

Interestingly, Thorsteinson was also involved in the sale of Miranda to Belden.  In April 2012, he appointed a director of Miranda Technologies during the time that activist investor JEC Capital was agitating for a sale of that business.  Three months after Thorsteinson became a director of the company, Belden Corporation acquired Miranda for an enterprise value of $356m.

Thorsteinson was the President of Harris Corporation’s Broadcast Communications Division from 2006-2010.  He was appointed to this role following the $460m purchase by Harris of Leitch Technology Corporation, where Thorsteinson had been CEO since November 2003.

Prior to Leitch, Thorsteinson was CEO of Grass Valley Group, and oversaw the December 2001 sale of Grass Valley Group to Thomson Multimedia for $172m.

“We are delighted to have Tim Thorsteinson join Quantel to continue the company’s transformation. Tim has a proven track record of value creation, and his knowledge and experience are a great fit to grow the combined Quantel and Snell business into a major force in the rapidly changing broadcast industry,” said Chris Hurley, Managing Director Lloyds Development Capital and Quantel Board Director. “I would also like to thank Ray for all his hard work and achievements at Quantel over the past 10 years.”

“I’m very excited to be joining Quantel,” said Thorsteinson. “It is one of the larger independent businesses in our industry, with world class products and a rich history of innovation. I want to build on that tradition to create an organization 100% focused on helping our customers prosper in the media technology world.”

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Related Content:

Press Release: Tim Thorsteinson becomes Quantel CEO

Broadcast Vendor M&A: Quantel Acquires Snell

Press Release: Quantel acquires Snell to create new force in media technology

Quantel – Snell FAQ

Belden Makes it Official – Combination of Grass Valley and Miranda to be Called Grass Valley

Broadcast Vendor M&A: Belden Completes Acquisition of Grass Valley, Will Invest $25 Million in Integration of Combined Business

Broadcast Vendor M&A: Belden Buys Grass Valley for $220 Million

Belden Closes Deal to Acquire Miranda

Thorsteinson Appointed to Miranda’s Board of Directors in Otherwise Uneventful AGM

Miranda Nominates Tim Thorsteinson as Director

Activist Shareholder Drama Continues at Miranda Technologies

Technicolor Receives a Binding Offer from Francisco Partners for Grass Valley Broadcast Business

Press Release: Tim Thorsteinson Named President of Harris Corporation’s Broadcast Communications Division

Press Release: Harris Corporation Completes Acquisition of Leitch Technology

WSJ Article: Thomson Multimedia to Buy Grass Valley for $172 Million

Broadcast Vendor M&A: Belden Buys Grass Valley for $220 Million

Belden’s Acquisition of Miranda to Close on or Before July 27, 2012

TVNewsCheck Article (9-29-2011): Tech One-on-One With Simon Derry — Snell Aims To Master the U.S. Market

Advent Venture and LDC close £72m broadcasting merger

Advent Venture Partners and LDC Complete Their Portfolios Merger – March 9, 2009

Video: Pro-Bel and Snell & Wilcox CEOs Discuss Merger (2009)

Press Release (11-6-2003): Chyron Sells Pro-Bel to LDC

Broadcast Magazine (2002): Snell Secures £22m from Advent

Press Release (2002) Advent Venture Partners invests GBP13m in Snell & Wilcox

Variety Article (7-14-2000): Carlton sells tech arm Quantel to LDC for £51 million 

 

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© Devoncroft Partners 2009 – 2015. All Rights Reserved.

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Broadcast Vendor M&A: Belden Completes Acquisition of Grass Valley, Will Invest $25 Million in Integration of Combined Business

Broadcast technology vendor financials, Broadcast Vendor M&A | Posted by Joe Zaller
Apr 01 2014

Belden announced that it has completed the acquisition of the previously announced offer to purchase Grass Valley. When the deal was announced in February 2014, Benden CFO Henk Derksen told equity analysts that the $220m deal would be funded with existing cash.

Grass Valley had approximately $290 million in revenue according to Belden’ press release, so the deal values Grass Valley at 0.75 revenue.

It is believed that the enlarged company will be branded Grass Valley.

According to Belden, the value of the combination of the two companies is clear for both customers and shareholders is clear. The company says that by aligning both resources and strategies, the business will have a broader offering, while realizing the benefits of scale.

Belden also says the combined company “will be able to deliver the ability to simplify the purchasing and management of highly complex infrastructures.”

Belden says acquisition of Grass Valley will be immediately accretive to adjusted earnings per share with an estimated impact of approximately $0.20 in 2014 and $0.50 in 2015.

Much of the increased profitability of the new company is likely to come through synergy savings.

One of the hallmarks and core competencies of the Belden team is the efficient integration of acquired companies into the Belden family, and the associated inculcation with the “Belden Business System, including LEAN enterprise techniques and the Market Delivery System.”

There are many examples of Belden buying underperforming companies and subsequently using its internal processes to achieve strong financial performance and operating return.

Indeed, the company says “there is a significant opportunity in the application of the Belden Business System” in the case of Grass Valley

Derksen told analysts at the time of the announcement that Belden plans “to invest approximately $25 million during the first 12 months of integration largely through restructuring efforts to capture the value of the combined company. The strategic actions will include cost actualization, manufacturing footprint and leveraging a combined sales and marketing function and the implementation of lean principles.”

At same time Belden CEO John Stroup said “the result of the integration is unlikely to include meaningful reductions in R&D investment. However, I think there’s going to be an opportunity for Miranda to throttle back on some investments where Grass Valley’s stronger and for Grass Valley to throttle back on opportunities where Miranda’s stronger. Manufacturing is a clear opportunity. Today, Grass Valley outsources a lot of their manufacturing. We think there’s an opportunity for us to leverage our existing fixed cost structure, absorb that manufacturing. So that’s a clear opportunity to create value in the combined business and there’s clearly an opportunity to leverage our global sales force. Both of us at 200 and 300 million respectively, have created a global sales force calling on the same customers and we see a clear opportunity to improve our efficiency there. So the assumptions that we have in place include manufacturing cost synergies as well as the opportunity to leverage the combined sales organization, both in terms of cost and revenue.”

 

The following slides show the strategic rationale for the Miranda – Grass Valley merger, as explained by Belden in February 2014.

 

Belden Buys Grass - 1

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Belden Buys Grass - 2.

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Belden Buys Grass - 3

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Belden Buys Grass - 4

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Belden Buys Grass - 5

 

 

Given that it is believed that the combined company will be branded as Grass Valley, the deal marks a new beginning rather than the end of the road for the formidable broadcast brand.

Prior to officially becoming part of Belden, what is now Grass Valley has been through a number of strategic changes in the last 10-15 years.

This started in December 2000 when Thomson purchased Philips Professional, which at that time had revenue of approximately 250m Euros, and employed 1,050 people. Philips products, which included cameras, film imaging, signal processing, media networking & control, and systems integration services, became part of Thomson Multimedia.

After the Philips acquisition, the combined company, which was renamed Thomson Multimedia, had combined revenue of approximately 366m Euros.

In 2001, Thomson bought Grass Valley in 2001 for $172m.  At that time, Grass Valley had revenues of about $200m.

Technicolor then went on a buying spree, acquiring multiple companies that were ultimately folded into the Grass Valley brand.

Thomson added to its Grass Valley holdings with the 2005 acquisition Canopus for more than $100m.

By the late 2000s Thomson – which had by this time changed its name to Technicolor – put Grass Valley on the block, initially with what has been described as a very high price tag.

After several rumored bids, and more than a year on the block Technicolor sold what is now Grass Valley to Francisco Partners, a San Francisco – based private equity firm.

Technicolor retained other parts of the business, including transmitters and head-end equipment, and later sold-off these assets in two separate transactions.

Technicolor sold the Grass Valley transmission business to PARTER Capital Group.

The Grass Valley head-end business was sold to FCDE in March 2011.

Grass Valley is one of the industry’s great companies and I am sure that the people there are happy to finally have resolved their fate.  Let’s hope they can now focus on making great products – and of course money for their new owners.

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Related Content:

Press Release: Belden Announces Successful Completion of Grass Valley Acquisition

Broadcast Vendor M&A: Belden Buys Grass Valley for $220 Million

Press Release: Technicolor to sell its Broadcast Services activity to Ericsson

Belden Q3 2012 Revenue Declines 6 Percent, Miranda “Off to a Slow Start”

Broadcast Vendor M&A: Miranda Buys Softel

Belden Closes Deal to Acquire Miranda

More Broadcast Vendor M&A: Belden Buys Miranda for $350 Million in All-Cash Deal

More Broadcast Vendor M&A: Technicolor Closes Deal to Dispose of Grass Valley Transmission Business

Technicolor Receives Binding Offer for Video Head-End Business

Technicolor decides not to sell digital signage provider PRN

Technicolor completes sale of Grass Valley to Francisco Partners

 

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© Devoncroft Partners 2009 – 2014. All Rights Reserved.

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Broadcast Vendor M&A: Vislink Buys Pebble Beach for $24.7 Million

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

Vislink announced that it has acquired playout automation specialist Pebble Beach Systems for $24.7m (£14.9m). Pebble Beach will operate as a stand-alone unit within Vislink, and will continue to be run by its management, including founder Peter Hajittofi.

Under the terms of the deal, Vislink will pay £12.9m in cash, and £2m in newly issued Vislink shares.  Pebble Beach management must hold the new shares for at least two years. Vislink says the “transaction will be immediately earnings enhancing.”

For the fiscal year ended June 20, 2013, Pebble Beach had revenue of £5.64m, EBITDA of £1.3m, and profit before tax of £1.3m.  Thus the deal values the company at approximately 2.5x revenue, and 11.4x EBITDA. After backing out the £5.9m in cash Pebble Beach had in the bank, the net price paid by Vislink was £9m, valuing the deal at approximately 1.6x revenue and  7x EBITDA.

The fact that Vislink has made an acquisition is not surprising.

The company, which had revenue of £28m for the first half of 2013, has told the market for the past several years that it intends to grow its revenue to £80m, with 10% return on sales, by the end of 2014.  

Vislink, which recently moved its listing to the UK AIM market, has long-telegraphed telegraphed its intention to buy companies to achieve its stated goals for revenue growth and profitability.

In its most recent half-yearly results, company management said “we remain on track to grow the business to achieve turnover of £80m and £8m adjusted operating profit by the end of FY2014, and we intend to support this by a number of bolt on acquisitions in addition to achieving organic growth.”

However, it is interesting to note that Vislink decided to buy a  company in a different part of the broadcast value chain to help it achieve its stated intentions.

Vislink, which owns the Advent, Gigawave, Link, MRC, and PMR brands, is best known for its RF, microwave, and satellite communication products that are used by broadcasters in live production environments such as news and sports.

Pebble Beach products are used in broadcast playout applications, which does not have the same emphasis on live events.

Having said that, Vislink says that the Pebble Beach team will “assist Vislink in expanding its software capability as a Group,” so the acquisition could be the first of several deals that mark the beginning of a new business focus at Vislink.

Vislink explained the rationale for the deal saying Pebble Beach’s technology is complementary to its own, and that “the acquisition of Pebble Beach will move Vislink into the provision of software solutions for playout with advanced software technology,” and that “Vislink will now be able to offer broadcasters a complete ‘scene to screen’ solution.”  Vislink also highlighted the fact that Pebble Beach “will gain from access to significantly increased sales channels through the global network of over 900 broadcasters that Vislink works with as well as its international network of offices.”

“The acquisition fits perfectly into our long term strategy of acquiring software and services capability that we hope to drive recurring revenues for the group,” said Vislink chairman John Hawkins.

UK-based Pebble Beach has 60 employees, and regional offices in Dubai, Singapore, and the USA.

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Related Content:

Press Release: Vislink Acquires Pebble Beach

Broadcast Vendor M&A: Vislink Buys Amplifier Technology for up to $6.2 Million

Vislink Revenue Declines 7 Percent in Q3 2012, Reaffirms Plan to Double Revenue By End of 2014

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© Devoncroft Partners 2009 – 2014. All Rights Reserved.

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Broadcast Vendor M&A: Quantel Acquires Snell

broadcast industry technology trends, Broadcast technology vendor financials, Broadcast Vendor M&A | Posted by Joe Zaller
Mar 12 2014

Quantel has announced that it will acquire fellow UK-based broadcast technology vendor Snell.

The combined company will have revenue of more than $170 million and office in 16 locations around the globe, making it one of the larger vendors in the broadcast industry.

The enlarged company will be called Quantel and headquartered in Newbury UK, Quantel’s current HQ. According to an FAQ issued by the company, all existing products from Snell and Quantel will continue, and the Snell brand will remain.

Quantel CEO Ray Cross will lead the enlarged company.

Current Snell CEO Simon Derry will exit the business after acting helping to support the integration of the two companies for several months.

Paul Martin, Managing Director of the Snell TV Everywhere division and Rob Rowe, Managing Director of the Snell Live TV division will join the Quantel board, and Tim Banks, Snell Sales Director and Peter Fredericks, Snell Finance Director are also taking leading roles in the new combined organization.

 

UK-based Companies Have Little Product Overlap

Quantel and Snell are both based in the UK, and have a significant presence in many international markets.  Both companies are viewed as high-end players in the market, with good reputations for quality, reliability, and customer service.

Although the two companies have many common customers, they have virtually no overlapping product lines. Quantel focuses on post-production graphics and color grading systems, as well as enterprise-class networked editing systems, and media asset management.  Snell is known for production switchers, signal processing gear, playout automation, and channel-in-a-box products.

Both companies have UK-based R&D and manufacturing facilities, which will likely be rationalized over the course of time, resulting in significant cost savings for the combined entity. “We will be creating a new world-class facility at the company headquarters in Newbury to produce the complete Quantel and Snell product range and we look forward to the new ideas generated when the two R&D teams start to interact,” said Quantel CEO Ray Cross.

 

Common Parent Combines Broadcast Holdings

The combination of Quantel and Snell was long-rumored in the industry, since the two companies already had a common parent, Lloyds Development Capital (LDC), the investment arm of Lloyds Bank.

LDC has held a majority stake in both Quantel and Snell for a number of years, so a primary driver for the deal was likely the internal consolidation of LDC’s long-time holdings in the broadcast technology space, creating a larger, more efficient business, with greater operating leverage.

The complementary nature of the respective Quantel and Snell product portfolios should allow the enlarged company to continue serving the needs of customers, while realizing significant cost savings through the combination of R&D and manufacturing facilities, trade show booths, regional offices, etc.

This is similar to the approach outlined last month when Belden announced it will purchase Grass Valley for $220 million, and combined it with Miranda Technologies, which it already owns.  In 2012, Belden acquired Miranda for approximately $350 million.

Like Quantel and Snell, the combined Miranda and Grass Valley have limited product overlap and many common customers. Belden’s management has said it believes significant cost savings can be achieved by rationalizing duplicate functions within the combined company.

LDC acquired Quantel in July 2000, when it funded the company’s £51 million management buyout (MBO) from Carlton Communications.

In 2009, LDC created Snell when it funded the £72 million merger of Snell & Wilcox and Pro-Bel, in a deal supported by a £25 million package of senior debt and working capital facilities provided by The Royal Bank of Scotland and HSBC. After the merger, the combined company was renamed Snell.

LDC acquired Pro-Bel in 2003 when it funded an £11.2 million MBO from Chyron.

Prior to its merger with Pro-Bel, Snell & Wilcox was owned by Advent Ventures who had funded its £22 million management buy-out in 2002.

Both Quantel and Snell are private companies, so their individual revenue figures are not disclosed publicly.

A report published immediately after the merger of Pro-Bel and Snell & Wilcox in 2009  said Snell had revenue £80m and employed 450 staff; and in 2011 Snell CEO Simon Derry said in an interview that the company’s revenue was “greater than $130 million.”

According to its website, Quantel “employs around 300 people, and operates sales and support subsidiaries in the USA, Canada, Latin America, Hong Kong, China, Japan, Korea, Australia and throughout mainland Europe.”

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Related Content:

Press Release: Quantel acquires Snell to create new force in media technology

Quantel – Snell FAQ

Broadcast Vendor M&A: Belden Buys Grass Valley for $220 Million

Belden’s Acquisition of Miranda to Close on or Before July 27, 2012

TVNewsCheck Article (9-29-2011): Tech One-on-One With Simon Derry — Snell Aims To Master the U.S. Market

Advent Venture and LDC close £72m broadcasting merger

Advent Venture Partners and LDC Complete Their Portfolios Merger – March 9, 2009

Video: Pro-Bel and Snell & Wilcox CEOs Discuss Merger (2009)

Press Release (11-6-2003): Chyron Sells Pro-Bel to LDC

Broadcast Magazine (2002): Snell Secures £22m from Advent

Press Release (2002) Advent Venture Partners invests GBP13m in Snell & Wilcox

Variety Article (7-14-2000): Carlton sells tech arm Quantel to LDC for £51 million 

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© Devoncroft Partners 2009 – 2014. All Rights Reserved.

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Broadcast Vendor M&A: Belden Buys Grass Valley for $220 Million

broadcast technology market research | Posted by Joe Zaller
Feb 06 2014

Belden has submitted a binding offer to purchase privately held Grass Valley, a leader within the broadcast market, for $220 million.

The binding offer is subject to consultation with Grass Valley’s foreign labor works council, after which we will enter into a definitive agreement. Grass Valley provides innovative technologies including production switchers, cameras, servers, and editing solutions within the mission critical applications of broadcast customers. When combined with Miranda, the resulting end-to-end solution will be the most complete and compelling in the industry.

Grass Valley had approximately $290 million in revenue according to Belden’ press release, so the deal values Grass Valley at 0.75 revenue.

Even so, it’s probably not a bad deal for Grass Valley’s owner, PE firm Francisco Partners, which  purchased Grass Valley from Technicolor in 2011 (closed in January 2011), for no money down, and an $80 million promissory not payable five years from the date of the deal.

Part of Francisco Partner’s deal to buy Grass Valley included an undisclosed additional pay-out if Francisco Partners sold Grass Valley for a partner in the future.  Since these numbers are unknown, it’s difficult to know if the payments were triggered.

“The great thing about this overlap is the limited overlap,” said Belden CEO John Stroup.

“We are extremely excited to have Grass Valley join the Belden family. By combining Grass Valley and Miranda, we will create the broadcast industry’s largest and most complete portfolio,” said Mr. Stroup.

 

Here’s info on the deal and the rationale for it:

 

Belden Buys Grass - 1

Belden Buys Grass - 2

Belden Buys Grass - 3

 

Belden Buys Grass - 4

 

 

Belden Buys Grass - 5


Belden Buys Grass - 6


Related Content:

Press Release: Belden Reports Solid Results in Fourth Quarter 2013 and Announces Binding Offer to Acquire Privately Held Grass Valley for $220 Million

Press Release: Technicolor to sell its Broadcast Services activity to Ericsson

Belden Q3 2012 Revenue Declines 6 Percent, Miranda “Off to a Slow Start”

Broadcast Vendor M&A: Miranda Buys Softel

Belden Closes Deal to Acquire Miranda

More Broadcast Vendor M&A: Belden Buys Miranda for $350 Million in All-Cash Deal

More Broadcast Vendor M&A: Technicolor Closes Deal to Dispose of Grass Valley Transmission Business

Technicolor Receives Binding Offer for Video Head-End Business

Technicolor decides not to sell digital signage provider PRN

Technicolor completes sale of Grass Valley to Francisco Partners

 

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© Devoncroft Partners 2009 – 2014. All Rights Reserved.

Thoughts on the Grass Valley – PubliTronic Deal, Including Press Conference Slides

broadcast technology market research, Broadcast Vendor M&A | Posted by Joe Zaller
Oct 13 2011

Yesterday, Grass Valley announced that it has acquired Dutch Channel-in-a-Box (CiaB) vendor PubliTronic via an online press conference.  This in an interesting move for a number of reasons, and Grass Valley did a good job of explaining its rationalize for the transaction.

During the presentation Grass Valley showed a slide deck that outlined its reasons for buying PubliTronic, provided an overview of the CiaB market opportunity and laid out its strategic objectives for this space.

Grass Valley says the broadcast market is changing more rapidly than ever, and that it is working to position itself as the “trusted transformation expert,” which can provide the appropriate mix of hardware, software and services to broadcast customers facing unprecedented change.

Grass Valley says it wants to become “the premier video technology solutions company.” This plan includes software, services, differentiated products, moving “down market” where opportunities are greater, and moving into emerging markets where there is higher growth.

The company sees integrated playout as a prime example of a fast growing, but currently underserved market. During the press conference GV said that the CiaB space is one of the fastest growing areas of the broadcast market, and that the acquisition of PubliTronic will help it go after this space, while better serving the needs of its customers.

It will be interesting to see how Grass Valley executes on this deal and deploys the PubliTronic products (now rebranded as Grass Valley K2 Edge).

There’s no doubt that Grass Valley is one of the premier brands in the broadcast industry, but many of their products such as switchers, servers and routers are hardware based and used in live production and studio applications.

Conversely, the CiaB market is all about software, and some traditionally hardware-focused companies have had a difficult time making the transition to a more software-centric approach. Of course Grass Valley’s video servers are widely deployed in the playout space, and the company undoubtedly has extensive technical expertise in this area, so maybe the transition will be smooth.

While the purchase of a 32-person playout software company is not a “bet the company” move for Grass Valley, it’s still critically important for the company to get this acquisition right.  New CEO Alain Andreoli, made it clear at IBC that he (and new GV owner Francisco Partners) sees software and services as core to the company’s future success.  The PubliTronic deal is a significant step in this direction.

There’s no doubt that the PubliTronic product offering is very capable.  However, Grass Valley is far from alone in going after the CiaB market.  Miranda, Snell, Evertz, Playbox and VSN are all vying for leadership in this space, and there are rumors that both Harris and Harmonic (Omneon) will be throwing their respective hats into this ring before NAB 2012. Expect to be hearing a lot about integrated playout / CiaB over the next six months.

At the end of the press conference Grass Valley CEO Alain Andreoli said that this deal shows that Franscisco Partners is committed to building a new Grass Valley and that it’s putting its money where its mouth is in order to do so.  It’s going to be very interesting to watch
how this shakes out over the next year or two.

The slides from the Grass Valley – PubliTronic announcement press conference (or at least most of them) are shown below.  They are worth reading as they do a good job of explaining the market dynamics, Grass Valley’s strategy, and the PubliTronic product offering.

 

 

 

 


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Related Content:

More Broadcast Vendor M&A: Grass Valley Buys PubliTronic, Enters Integrated Playout / Channel-in-a-Box Market

Press Release: Grass Valley Extends Leadership in IT-based Playout Solutions with Acquisition of Integrated Playout Solutions Provider PubliTronic

Press Release: Grass Valley Announces New K2 Edge Automated, Multichannel, Integrated Playout Solution

Announcement Coming From Grass Valley

BC 2011 Trends: Cloud, Channel-in-a-Box, 3D

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More Broadcast Vendor M&A: Grass Valley Buys PubliTronic, Enters Integrated Playout / Channel-in-a-Box Market

broadcast industry trends, Broadcast technology channel strategy, broadcast technology market research, Broadcast Vendor M&A | Posted by Joe Zaller
Oct 12 2011

Grass Valley announced today that it has purchased PubliTronic, a Netherlands-based broadcast technology supplier.  Terms of the acquisition were not disclosed.

PubliTronic provides integrated playout or channel-in-box (CiaB) solutions for broadcast playout applications.  According to Grass Valley executives, CiaB solutions have been deployed by approximately 5% of the market today and represent “one of the fastest growing segments in broadcasting, [and is] expected to increase significantly over the next three years.”

PubliTronic’s CiaB product provides an integrated playout package featuring a video server, media management, automation, broadcast graphics and other master control functionality.  PubliTronic’s products will be incorporated into the Grass Valley product line-up and will be re-branded as the Grass Valley K2 Edge.

The acquisition of the PubliTronic product line complements the existing Grass Valley server product business and puts Grass Valley into the automated playout business, which is shaping up to be one of the next battlegrounds in the broadcast technology business.  It was certainly one of the most important trends at the recent IBC 2011 trade show.

With the purchase of PubliTronic, Grass Valley joins the growing list of broadcast vendors who are making major bets in this area.  In addition to Miranda, Evertz, Snell, Grass Valley, PlayBox and VSN; who are now all vying for leadership in this segment, I’ve heard rumors that other firms including both Harris and Harmonic (Omneon) could launch CiaB products by NAB 2012, making this both a hot topic and a very crowded space.

With most CiaB systems providing similar functionality, it will be important for Grass Valley to differentiate itself from its competition.  In a statement, the company sought to do this, saying: “What this acquisition brings to customers is much more than a simple “channel-in-a-box” solution. Our next-generation K2 Edge™ server is a sophisticated and very powerful multichannel, integrated, automated playout system that delivers benefits to our customers from day one.”

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Related Content:

Press Release: Grass Valley Extends Leadership in IT-based Playout Solutions with Acquisition of Integrated Playout Solutions Provider PubliTronic

Press Release: Grass Valley Announces New K2 Edge Automated, Multichannel, Integrated Playout Solution

Announcement Coming From Grass Valley

BC 2011 Trends: Cloud, Channel-in-a-Box, 3D

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Announcement Coming From Grass Valley

broadcast technology market research | Posted by Joe Zaller
Oct 11 2011

Grass Valley said today that it will be making a “significant corporate announcement” on October 12th.

This language would seem to indicate some kind of M&A deal, rather than a product announcement.

Grass Valley’s new parent company, Francisco Partners, has been open with the market about their strategic commitment to Grass Valley and the broadcast market.  Tomorrow’s announcement will presumably reveal the next stage in this strategy.

 

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