For a business like Vitec, intelligent and sustained investment in new markets, technologies, products and people enables us to retain our market-leading positions and create shareholder value in the future.
The "image capture and content creation" market is rapidly changing and we continue to identify and make appropriate, value-adding acquisitions to supplement our organic activities and enable us to benefit from those changes.
Our unique heritage, experienced people and the credibility of our established, premium brands allow us to find attractive, high quality businesses in our core or adjacent markets, technologies and geographies to achieve our growth objectives.
We completed two acquisitions in 2017 and the pipeline of potential acquisitions continued to build during the year.
JOBY and Loweproplus
Acquiring the JOBY and Lowepro brands demonstrates Vitec's commitment to expanding our portfolio of premium branded products for the imaging and Independent Content Creator markets. These leading brands give us greater access to new markets and expand our retail presence, especially in the US, by adding high quality, complementary products.
As part of Vitec's strategy to improve our core business and get closer to our customers, we acquired the JOBY and Lowepro brands. JOBY introduced the patented GorillaPod tripod which has transformed the camera accessories market and has a strong presence in Apple stores. Lowepro has been a market leader in bags designed to protect electronic and camera devices since 1967.
JOBY and Lowepro products are designed by dedicated marketing resources located in California, US, and engineered by expert innovation teams based in the Far East. All products are manufactured by third parties with proprietary tools and sold globally through the Vitec Imaging Distribution network.
This acquisition strengthens and complements Vitec's existing product portfolio. It gives us:
- A leading global position in the new and fast growing iphoneography, mobile journalism and vlogging markets, as well as the camera bags market, bringing in an expanded product development team and technical capabilities with access to new intellectual property;
- Increased retail presence, particularly in the US, making Vitec Imaging Distribution a leading distributor of premium imaging accessories in the largest global economies;
- The opportunity to get closer to customers by consolidating Vitec's strategic relationships with Apple and online retailers such as Amazon and T-Mall, the leading consumer electronics retailers, B&H and specialist retailers; and
- A platform to expand further in APAC and strengthen the Group's presence in China and Hong Kong through the JOBY and Lowepro teams who are based there.
Vitec is integrating JOBY and Lowepro into its Imaging Solutions Division's existing organisational structure, under the leadership of Marco Pezzana, Divisional Chief Executive, Vitec Imaging Solutions. In addition to enabling greater penetration of adjacent market segments, stronger retail presence and improved innovation capabilities, the integration of JOBY and Lowepro into Vitec's Imaging Solutions Division is expected to deliver substantial operational synergies in procurement, logistics and distribution across all divisional brands.
"I've been in the imaging industry for over 10 years working with the JOBY and Lowepro brands globally. We were acquired by the Vitec Group in September 2017. It's been such a positive experience to join a diverse team of talented professionals who are dedicated to the same core values within the industry we love."
Tim Grimmer, Senior Brand Director, JOBY and Lowepro
The acquisition of RTMotion is in line with Vitec's strategy of offering innovative and highly technical solutions to the Group's established independent content creator customer base, and will facilitate Vitec's growth in the higher technology area of camera accessories.
Based in the UK, RTMotion designs and manufactures lens control systems for video cameras used to make feature films and television series, for example, "Pirates of the Caribbean" and "Planet Earth II".
RTMotion has been successfully integrated into our Creative Solutions Division. There are significant growth opportunities to sell RTMotion’s products through our global sales and distributor network, and the business will benefit from Vitec's marketing, manufacturing and supply chain capabilities.
"We have admired Vitec’s vision and breadth of expertise for some time, and are extremely excited to be joining the Group alongside industry leaders such as Teradek and SmallHD. This acquisition will give us world-leading support in marketing, reseller channels and strategic management."
Kris Bird, Co-founder of RTMotion
The acquisition of Adeal is in line with Vitec's strategy to expand in APAC and get closer to its customers through owning more of its own distribution channel. In addition to sales growth, margin consolidation and full control of channel management, Vitec's ownership of Adeal will enable the Group to consolidate its Imaging Solutions brands under one national distributor.
Adeal is a distributor of consumer and professional imaging products and accessories based in Melbourne, Australia, and Vitec's former Imaging Solutions distribution partner in Australia. Adeal will become part of Vitec's Imaging Solutions Division.
The acquisition of Rycote is in line with Vitec's strategy to enter adjacent markets. There are opportunities across all three of Vitec's divisions to sell Rycote products in conjunction with SmallHD monitors, Teradek transmitters, Flowtech tripods, Anton/Bauer batteries, JOBY GorillaPods and Manfrotto products.
Based in Stroud, UK, Rycote is a highly respected, market-leading brand, trusted by creative professionals, and a manufacturer of advanced noise reduction equipment for the audio capture market. Audio capture is an integral element in the creation of high quality videos and Vitec's existing customers, whether Broadcasters, Videographers or Independent Content Creators, already buy audio products.
Rycote has become part of Vitec's Creative Solutions Division, led by Nicol Verheem. Simon Davies, Rycote's Managing Director, has remained with the company post acquisition.