Ross Racks Up Acquisitions With Norpak, Codan Deals

Ross Video may seem to be on an acquisition streak, logging deals for both data-insertion provider Norpak and the Broadcast Products division of Australia’s Codan Ltd. in less than a month, but CEO David Ross cautions that the trend is simply a matter of coincidence.

“It’s not like Ross Video is intentionally on an acquisition run,” he says. “We’re not going around looking for companies to buy on a regular basis. It’s just by coincidence that these both made perfect sense at almost the same time. We’ve had preexisting relationships with both companies, and we knew the potential that was possible with their joining Ross.”

The Codan sale is scheduled for completion on Aug. 31, and the Norpak deal is expected to wrap up on Sept. 17. Despite the proximity of the announcements, the two acquisitions represent two very different goals.

“Norpak is a technology and customer acquisition, while Codan is about router-product-line acquisition.” Ross points out. “We will incorporate Norpak’s technology into [our other products], and the [Codan routers] will hit the ground running and will definitely sell a lot.”

An openGear Partner
Norpak specializes in data insertion within video streams with products addressing metadata, closed-caption, interactive-TV, and monitoring and filtering applications. The company is best-known as the manufacturer of Nielsen encoders and closed-captioning inserters.

Norpak has been an openGear partner for three years. openGear is Ross’s 2RU open-architecture terminal-equipment platform intended to make it easy for other manufacturers to adopt and develop products specific to their needs. Norpak currently offers a range of openGear-compliant data-insertion products.

Like Ross Video, Norpak’s headquarters are located in Ottawa. Its operations and personnel will be integrated into Ross’s Ottawa Research and Development Center and Iroquois Manufacturing Facility. Ross will sell Norpak products under the Ross brand and will also integrate Norpak’s data-insertion technology into its other product lines.

“Data insertion is becoming less of a standalone product and more of a technology that goes into other products,” says Ross. “Our position in openGear and our other product lines, including things like routers, switchers, and servers, will benefit from the expertise that Norpak has in this area. They can take the data-insertion capabilities within other products to the next level.”

Routers From Down Under
Melbourne-based Codan Broadcast Products boasts a flagship line of routing systems as well as a major footprint in the Australian broadcast market.

From 2002 through 2007, Ross Video sold the Codan line of routers (previously, Talia routers until the company was acquired by Codan in 2004) under the Ross name in North America. The acquisition now returns Codan routers to the Ross portfolio.

“[Codan] has changed its corporate focus recently, and we were an obvious company to call in terms of the router business,” says Ross. “We’re picking up an entire company in Australia that designs and manufactures routers from the smallest size right up to 320×320. That’s a significant product pickup.”