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Pro-Bel and Snell & Wilcox join to form new company

After months of ongoing negotiations, routing and infrastructure supplier Pro-Bel and signal processing specialist Snell & Wilcox have merged their businesses and formed a new company that will be jointly owned and financed by venture capitalist companies Lloyd's TSB Development Capital and Advent Venture Partners. No financial details, or a to-be-determined new company name, were revealed.

The company will be led by Pro-Bel's Graham Pitman, as deputy chairman, and Snell's Simon Derry, as CEO. Peter Fredericks will serve as the new entity's finance director.

Derry said that thanks to the new merger, his company could see increased business they might not have won previously due to Snell's new ability to cross sell established customers from both sides and offer a more comprehensive portfolio with an overall systems approach. He also said the joint company would have more leverage with systems integrators around the world.

The two companies have worked together on various broadcast projects over the years, and their respective product portfolios appear to be compatible. For example, the Snell & Wilcox Kahuna video production switcher has been integrated with the Pro-Bel Sirius range of routers at several new broadcast facilities.

The company said a priority would be to integrate the Pro-Bel Vistek and Snell IQ Modular signal conversion products, which now include redundant technology. It will continue to manufacture and support both infrastructure product lines for the immediate future until a strategy for future evolution is developed.The company has published a plan for the future direction of its modular products on its Web site.

The newly combined company now boasted some 80 patents and 2000 customers in more than 100 countries, a wide ranging portfolio of content management and distribution products, and a veteran team of engineering, sales and support personnel. Some staff reduction within both companies appears to be likely, although no official mention was made.

The companies have created a micro site with more information about the merger.