Mergers and Acquisitions

Channel M&A: Panasonic Deal Blends Video, LED Display Projects

Donald Szczepaniak
Donald Szczepaniak

When Panasonic Enterprise Solutions Company (PESCO) recently acquired Pro Media, the motivation was clear: Panasonic was seeking to pair video solutions with LED display projects -- a potential springboard into "large­scale" audio solutions.

A division of Panasonic Corporation of North America, PESCO purchased Pro Media, an audio­video installation business based out of Martinez, California, in early June. The terms of the cash deal were not publicly disclosed.

Don Szczepaniak, executive vice president of Sensory Solutions at PESCO, told ChannelE2E during an interview that although both companies have “worked side­by­side on various projects for years,” discussions regarding a potential acquisition had only been in the works for about a year or so.

Other companies were evaluated before the deal, but PESCO ultimately believed Pro Media was the “right size for Panasonic’s entrance into the large­scale audio solutions space.” Prior to the deal, PESCO “primarily focused on video.” Adding Pro Media to its portfolio, enables the audio­visual technology solutions provider to bring “large­scale audio solution design, engineering and implementation experience” to its customers, according to Szczepaniak, who is familiar with the deal.

Deep AV Experience

PESCO's Sensory Solutions Team has deployed massive high­definition LED video boards at Texas Motor Speedway, Churchill Downs, Ohio State University, LA Live, Indianapolis Motor Speedway, Nasdaq Market Site Tower, and Lincoln Financial Field.

“The transaction is complementary to PESCO’s existing large­scale LED sports business and indoor display networks business,” he said. “Video is a natural cross­sell to these market segments, and PESCO can offer a single­ source solution. PESCO also will take what largely was a regional business and grow Pro Media nationally.”

For its part, Pro Media has managed audio­visual IT deployments in Dodger Stadium, AT&T Stadium (Dallas Cowboys), Lambeau Field (Green Bay Packers), MetLife Stadium (New York Jets and New York Giants), and American Airlines Center (Dallas Mavericks and Dallas Stars), among other locations.

PESCO Plans to Keep Pro Media Intact, Independent

For the most part, PESCO intends to keep Pro Media "largely intact and independent, so they can continue with their successful business model." The Denver­-based company projects that cross­selling both technologies and scaling Pro Media's presence in North America will generate revenue growth for PESCO.

“There will be cross­selling solution opportunities, and PESCO Network Operations Center (NOC) and service organization will support both the existing business and Pro Media,” Szczepaniak said.

Members of Pro Media's management team will co­locate and collaborate with the Sensory Solutions business division of PESCO in Denver and Dallas. The company’s employees will eventually transition to PESCO's headquarters. The process itself will "occur slowly, in consideration of the projects and business Pro Media has in Northern California," he said. PESCO will "retain a presence" in the region to continue serving its customers. PESCO will not provide the official headcount at either company, but it does “rely on a combination of employees, temporary workers, contractors and subcontractor companies to implement its solutions,” Szczepaniak said.

Future Acquisitions are Expected

Being the third acquisition for the PESCO in the past year, analysts might expect the division to leverage their momentum going forward. With regard to future purchases, they would be correct.

"PESCO remains acquisitive,” Szczepaniak said. The division also recently purchased LED total solutions provider TS Sports and NYC­based digital signage solutions firm MagicInk to “accelerate growth in its business­to­business operations.” “We have audacious aspirations to profitably grow the business and are seeking companies that provide complementary capabilities in existing or closely­aligned, adjacent segments,” he said.

Contributing Editor CJ Arlotta tracks reseller, VAR and MSP transformations for ChannelE2E. Read his contributions here.