Barco’s Acquisition of Montreal-based X2O Media

Adrian J Cotterill, Editor-in-Chief

News in yesterday then, that “another one bites the dust” .. Christie seemed to be looking long and hard at purchasing a digital signage software company this past year but it was the Belgians at Barco who beat them to an acquisition – not that Christie were necessarily looking at X2O Media (hint, hint).

As the announcement stated, the purchase is no doubt in line with Barco’s strategy to move beyond display and projection technology, which “expands the portfolio with a complete solution to deliver enhanced and cross-divisional content distribution and workflow, based on advanced networking and connectivity capabilities”.

Barco are no stranger to digital signage software company purchase – rescuing acquiring dZine of course back in July 2010.

We’ve spent a fair bit of time with X2O Media’s President and CEO David Wilkins in the past – he’s a fine chap, super smart, business and tech savvy and has an eye for innovation. X2O Media have software that works really well in broadcast, control rooms and of course the corporate environment. Here we can see a perfect fit for Barco with their corporate work (less so in the retail or LED billboard arena).

The dZine brand has all but disappeared now and it will be interesting to see how Barco will fit the new acquisition into what they already have in Europe – especially when David Wilkins, President and CEO of X2O Media says in the release “At the moment, our market is limited to North America, but benefiting from Barco’s global network we will be able to grow our activities worldwide.”

X2O Media was established in 2006 as a spin-off from VertigoXmedia, a Montreal based company with strong expertise in the field of broadcast graphics automation.

Eric Van Zele, CEO of Barco said in the press release “X2O Media perfectly complements our offering and skills portfolio, and is an important step in our strategy to expand our portfolio beyond video and imaging,”

We are told that X2O Media will be integrated in the Barco organization as a business venture, allowing it to continue the development of its platform technology, while leveraging its business growth from Barco’s worldwide sales and service presence.

X2O Media posted sales of 5 million Canadian Dollars in 2013, employs about 40 people and was backed by Propulsion Ventures. The price of this acquisition is set to 21 million Canadian Dollars.

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