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Chyron refreshes product line with merger

In a move clearly designed to save Chyron Corp., the financially strapped graphics company once renowned for its Emmy Award-winning technology innovations, the company's board of directors has agreed in writing to acquire Hego Group‚ a Stockholm, Sweden-based provider of integrated graphics and data visualization systems for live TV and sports telecasts. Once the deal is complete, the combined entity will be called ChyronHego.

The agreement represents a merger of product lines and staff that will allow Chyron to quickly introduce next-generation graphics platforms and services to its North and South American customers. Chryon could gain wider penetration across Europe and elsewhere overseas. Both companies said that the existing Chyron and Hego product lines are complementary, with little overlap, and that the new ChyronHego would move into second place in terms of global market share for graphics systems deployed.

The all-stock transaction, which is expected to be completed by the end of May 2013, will see Chyron issue 40 percent of its common stock, including certain outstanding options, after the closing, in exchange for all of Hego’s outstanding capital stock. Upon the achievement of certain revenue milestones during 2013, 2014 and/or 2015, Hego’s shareholders will also be entitled to receive additional shares of Chyron common stock such that the total number of shares of Chyron common stock issued in the transaction is equal to 50 percent of the aggregate shares of Chyron common stock outstanding, including certain outstanding options, after the closing.

Chyron’s board of directors has unanimously approved the transaction, and Chyron shareholders have committed to vote in favor of the transaction. At the closing of the transaction, Johan Apel, chairman and CEO of Hego Group, will be elected to Chyron’s board of directors and will be appointed president and COO of ChyronHego. Michael Wellesley-Wesley, currently president and CEO of Chyron, will remain as ChyronHego CEO. 

Wellesley-Wesley said that the new ChyronHego entity will focus on near- and long-term value creation for its shareholders, and “we believe its comprehensive and competitive product portfolio will quickly make it a market leader in our industry.”

Hego Group’s Apel said that the objective is to develop powerful, easy-to-use systems for sports, news and live TV. The company, he said, has grown quickly over the last few years, but this merger takes it to “a whole new level, especially in North and South America, where our offerings have been generating significant interest,”

Most recently, Chyron has recently been more focused on graphics solutions for live and near-live news production workflows. Its existing graphics systems include the Axis World Graphics online content creation software and order management system, on-air graphics systems, clip servers, channel branding, and graphics asset management solutions, all of which can be incorporated into the company’s BlueNet networked graphics workflow.

Supplied as either standalone products or full production services, Hego’s GS2 graphics engine and 3D graphics platform enhances the real-time presentation of live data and video graphics, virtual graphics, touch and telestration, as well as its 3D player tracking system. These capabilities are delivered either as products or as full production services.

Hego also offers its News system for template-based graphics featuring full integration with the AP’s ENPS newsroom computer system. The system consists of a template server with full preview of all graphics through an Active X-based browser interface.

Hego Group also maintains operations in Norway, Finland, Czech Republic, UK and U.S.