Pro-Bel, Snell & Wilcox Merge Businesses

By Ken Kerschbaumer

Pro-Bel and Snell & Wilcox have merged their businesses, a move that puts the combined entity at the forefront of backroom operations of TV facilities where routing, conversion, and other signal processing gear dominate. Both companies will exhibit at the same booth at NAB and a new name for combined entity will also be unveiled at the NAB Show in April.

Simon Derry, CEO of the new company, says the companies have been in talks for the past year and as the businesses worked more closely together the decision was made to combine the companies. Investment firms LDC and Advent are backing the new venture.

Snell & Wilcox spin-off Amber Fin will not be part of the new company.

The two companies only have one product area that overlaps, modular products, and a new microsite on the respective Web sites of Snell & Wilcox and Pro-Bel answer any concerns existing and future modular product customers may have about the overlap. “We’ll now have a wider choice of modular products available,” says Derry.

Derry says the combination of Pro-Bel and Snell & Wilcox will meet customer demand for more integrated solutions. “They not only want best of breed products but also integrated products are critical,” he explains. “They are also looking for the security of a company with a global footprint and the scale a large vendor offers.”

“For more than thirty years, both Pro-Bel and Snell & Wilcox have offered compelling best-of-breed solutions that help to solve real-world customer issues,” says Graham Pitman, CEO of Pro-Bel. “During this time the two companies have developed highly complementary product ranges with very little overlap; well-deserved reputations for innovation, product quality and reliability; and a joint commitment to excellence in customer service. Through this merger, the new combined company will build on this strong foundation to create one of the industry’s great companies.”

The management of the new company includes members of the executive teams of both companies, including Graham Pitman, CEO of Pro-Bel, and Derry, CEO of Snell & Wilcox. Pitman has been appointed Deputy Chairman of the new company.

The transaction was supported by private equity investors Lloyds TSB Development Capital (LDC) and Advent Venture Partners.