Hitachi to Invest in Comark

TOKYO and SOUTHWICK, MASS.—Hitachi is getting into the U.S. TV transmitter business with an investment in Comark. The sum of the investment was not disclosed.

“Hitachi Kokusai has concluded a contract to acquire an equity interest of Comark,” said Hitachi President and CEO Manabu Shinomoto. “Leveraging this investment and the sales channels of Comark, Hitachi Kokusai is fully entering the U.S. market where demand for replacing or upgrading digital terrestrial transmitters is expected to grow. Hitachi Kokusai is also enhancing its product lines by leveraging Comark’s high-power product lines, as Hitachi Kokusai accelerates the increase in its global market share of broadcasting equipment in Latin America, Middle East, and Asia.”

Hitachi Kokusai said Comark would use the investment to develop a new range of products for introduction at NAB 2015. The Japanese electronics company also said it would do joint product development and sales with Comark in the U.S market.

“Hitachi Kokusai will collaboratively develop transmitters as well as conventional products and aggressively increase its market share in the United States, Latin America, Middle East, and Asia,” the company said.

Hitachi cited an approaching transmitter replacement cycle and the upcoming spectrum incentive auction as the thinking behind the investment.

“The current fleet of DTV transmitters is expected to be replaced or upgraded in the near future with newer, more efficient models. In addition, the U.S. government plans to auction and repack the UHF DTV frequency band in 2016 to secure new frequencies for wireless broadband communications,” it said in the press release announcing the investment. “This will also increase the likelihood of a growing demand for DTV transmitter replacements and upgrades. Furthermore, broadcasting organizations in Latin America, Middle East, and Asia are expected to continue investment in equipment as digital terrestrial broadcasting spreads across these regions.”

Hitachi said it was “accelerating efforts to increase its global market share of broadcasting equipment, aiming to be one of the world’s leading providers of video and wireless network solutions. Hitachi Kokusai has established the goal of increasing the ratio of overseas sales to consolidated sales to 20 percent or more by FY 2015. Hitachi Kokusai has been expanding its broadcasting equipment business on a global scale, as the company acquired 100 percent of the shares of a Brazilian transmitter manufacturer currently known as Hitachi Kokusai Linear Equipamentos Eletrônicos S/A in 2011, and also set up an overseas subsidiary in Turkey in 2013.”

Richard E. Fiore, Jr. president and CEO of Comark said, “We are excited about this new relationship with Hitachi Kokusai as it gives us the strengthening business infrastructure and flexibility to achieve our common goals. With the investment received from Hitachi Kokusai, Comark is planning to improve the company’s product portfolio, strengthen the already impressive customer service organization, and pursue non-broadcast centric RF-related opportunities.”