Evertz acquires automation vendor Pharos

Evertz Microsystems, based in Ontario, Canada, continues to move away from single hardware product sales and aggressively build out its product lines, shifting its resources and R&D efforts to support file-based environments across an entire production or distribution facility.

Part of this strategy includes the recently completed acquisition of UK-based Pharos, an automation software vendor with most of its customer base operating outside the United States. Last year, it reported revenues of more than $9 million and has been profitable, although it has been challenged by a “small company” image. Corus Entertainment in Canada and a Technicolor facility, now owned by GlobeCast, in Singapore are recent clients of Pharos software products. No layoffs are expected.

The agreement, announced on Jan. 5, after several months of negotiations that began last fall, is worth less than $5 million, according to company financial reporting, and gives Evertz the automated control of devices and file management capabilities it needs to complete the “one-stop shop” vision it is employing to win more large-scale business.

For Pharos, the acquisition provides it access to a wide customer base in North America, and the sales and marketing resources of Evertz at its disposal. In addition, Pharos co-founders Spencer Rodd and Roger Heath will remain with the company, which will now be operated as a separate business unit of Evertz Microsystems. The Pharos main headquarters in Reading, Berkshire, will also continue to be the main R&D and training site for Pharos products.

Looking to bolster its file handling and management portfolio for broadcasters and other users, Evertz introduced a line of video servers in September at IBC2010, the Media Client Series, which enables real-time multichannel HD or SD ingest, playout and branding, as well as file ingest for file-based workflows. It is designed for facilities that require both high-performance Tier 1 (nearline) storage and high-capacity Tier 2 storage.

Pharos has worked on several projects with Evertz in the past to develop specific drivers that allow its Mediator platform to control Evertz VIP multiviewers (over SNMP), EQX routers, and 7000 Series signal processing modules.