Barco Acquires Major Stake in projectiondesign

OK. Well….color me not surprised. Barco just bought 61% (a majority stake) of projectiondesign. The remaining shares of projectiondesign will be held by minority shareholders including projectiondesign’s president Jorn Erickson, who will ostensibly, remain in charge of the firm. This means a few (well…a LOT) of things. Barco, huge as it is, cool-factor off the charts, and production heavyweight, hasn’t done a whole lot in the meeting-room/home theater/corporate market in recent years. Talk to any projection freak and the first word out of their mouth when asked about production/touring projection? How about LED tech on the road? Digital Cinema? “Barco”. How about your own home theater or a museum/boardroom install?…..silence.

So enter projectiondesign. They are kind of an elite thing here in the US…so exotic, so sleek and white, so…well…Nordsk. But they have a HUGE portfolio of well-designed, high-performance projectors that fill a definite (and huge) market. Not to mention they are an OEM manufacturer for some brands here in the US.

We’ll keep an eye on this one….here’s the press release from Barco:

Barco, the Belgium-headquartered global leader in digital visualization, announced today that it has acquired 61% of the shares of projectiondesign®, a Norway-based leader in projection technology, from private equity fund Herkules Capital. The remaining shares of projectiondesign® are held by minority shareholders.

The combination of Barco and projectiondesign® creates a market leader in projection solutions for both large- and mid-venue markets. The transaction advances Barco’s strategy to expand into the mid-segment of its target markets and to strengthen its number one position in high-performance projection technology.

Projectiondesign®: state-of-the-art projection technology

Projectiondesign® develops and manufactures compact projectors for a variety of professional markets including training and simulation, visitor attractions (museums, theme parks), scientific visualization, collaboration rooms (Corporate AV) and control rooms. The compact projectors are equipped with high-quality optics, high resolution and LED illumination, and feature quiet operation. The company custom-designs and develops all optics, hardware, software and industrial design for each projector model in-house. Founded in 2001, projectiondesign® is headquartered in Fredrikstad, Norway, and has 17 international offices. Projectiondesign® employs about 200 people and achieved sales of approximately €57 million in 2011.

Increased market share in the mid-venue market

“Projectiondesign® is a very well respected leader for projectors in the below 10k lumens range for professional markets. The company enjoys an enviable reputation for combining innovative technology with leading design,” comments Eric Van Zele, Barco’s CEO and President. “This investment clearly underscores our determination to pursue global growth in all mid-segment markets. With projectiondesign®, we will expand our portfolio to offer state-of-the-art solutions for the Simulation, Virtual Reality and Corporate AV markets as we continue to leverage our global sales coverage and our channels in Asia and Latin America in particular.”

Highlights

• Complementary product portfolio
Projectiondesign®’s product portfolio of compact, high-quality projectors rounds out Barco’s portfolio of business, large-venue and simulation projectors.

• Complementary technology
Barco’s focus on 3-chip DLP technology and high-brightness solutions for the large-venue market fits well with the focus of projectiondesign® on developing 1-chip DLP solutions for the mid-venue market. This collaboration between two industrial players will open up further growth opportunities in the mid-venue market.

• Complementary geographic footprint
Projectiondesign® has a strong presence in Northern Europe while Barco has strong sales coverage in Asia, Latin America and Europe. By joining forces with projectiondesign®, Barco will also increase its coverage in North America.

• Matching culture and values
Projectiondesign® and Barco share a similar entrepreneurial culture and both companies place high value on innovation and customer satisfaction.

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