Barco Buys Majority Share in projectiondesign

In what could be a shake-up on many levels of the projection market, Barco, today, bought a majority stake of projectiondesign. projectiondesign, a Norway-based projector manufacturer owned primarily by Herkules Capital, sold 61 percent of its stock to Barco, based in Belgium. The remaining shares of projectiondesign will be held by minority shareholders including projectiondesign’s president Jorn Erickson – who, we have been told, will remain in charge of projectiondesign.

So, why is this a shake-up?

Well, for one, Barco has struggled in the projection market of late. They’ve simply dominated the LED market, but have not been able to keep any sizable market share in the meeting room, portable or education projection markets. In fact, they haven’t been a top 5 manufacturer in any projection category (other than digital cinema) for nearly four years.

Also, projectiondesign is an OEM manufacturer for a few major brands based here in North America. Barco may decide to cut those ties and keep the projectiondesign line for themselves — as an OEM or continue under the projectiondesign brand — or both.

Finally, this gives Barco not only ProAV market share in projection, but also in the home cinema and home theater markets.

This will be one to watch carefully. And, expect more consolidation of projection brands in 2013 as we know of at least two other brands that are up for sale.

Below is the press release from Barco.


Barco acquires majority share in Norway’s projectiondesign®

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.”


• 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.

About projectiondesign®

Projectiondesign® is a Norwegian company that designs, manufactures and markets a range of high- performance projectors and supporting systems for professional, business and consumer applications. Among its core markets are high-resolution scientific visualization, visual training and simulation, medical imaging, broadcast and post production, public media and entertainment. Projectiondesign® is located in Fredrikstad, Norway, with representatives in more than 17 offices throughout the world.

About Barco

Barco, a global technology company, designs and develops visualization products for a variety of selected professional markets. Barco has its own facilities for Sales & Marketing, Customer Support, R&D and Manufacturing in Europe, North America and Asia Pacific. Barco (NYSE Euronext Brussels: BAR) is active in more than 90 countries with about 3,700 employees worldwide. Barco posted sales of 1.041 billion euro in 2011.