Big News: Quantel/Snell; Belden/Grass; Avid; Dolby/Dalet.

In the past few weeks there have been several major  announcements by broadcast pro video equipment manufacturers which are threatening to impact the marketplace. These include: the just announced Quantel’s acquisition of Snell; Grass Valley being acquired by Belden; Avid being delisted from NASDAQ; and Dolby’s acquisition of Dalet. Read on for more info.

Quantel, the UK-based provider of news, sports and post production systems, announced today that it is acquiring Snell (formerly Snell & Wilcox), a developer of broadcast and media technology targeting live TV production and the creation, management and distribution of content for TV everywhere, based in Reading, UK. The combined companies have combined revenues of more than $170 million. The value of the transaction was not disclosed.

The Snell brand and products will continue and Paul Martin, managing director of the Snell TV Everywhere division and Robert Rowe, managing director of the Snell Live TV division will join the Quantel board. Tim Banks, Snell sales director and Peter Fredericks, Snell finance Director will also taking leading roles in the new Quantel and Snell organization. Simon Derry will stay on for several months to support the integration of the Snell and Quantel businesses, after which he will leave to pursue other interests.

In February, Belden submitted a binding offer to purchase privately held Grass Valley for $220 million.   Belden has earlier purchased Miranda. Grass is being sold by San Francisco-based private equity firm Francisco Partners, which bought Grass in July of 2010 for $100 million. Belden is now positioned as one the major players in the industry with a diverse product line, much like the Sony’s and Panasonics of earlier years.

While the news of Avid’s delisting from NASDAQ was expected due to accounting procedure uses in the past, the company is still reeling form the excessive costs of clearing this up and getting reinstated.

The other big news in M&A in this sector included last months acquisition by Dolby of Doremi, a provider of digital cinema video playback solutions.   Dolby is acquiring Doremi for $92.5 million in cash plus an additional $20 million in contingent consideration that may be earned over a four-year period.


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