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Leyard-Planar deal: further details emerge

Planar Systems reveals the background to the deal which saw Chinese high-end indoor LED firm Leyard Optoelectronic acquire the US display manufacturer.

Following the announcement of the acquisition of display manufacturer Planar Systems by Chinese high-end indoor LED firm Leyard Optoelectronic, the US company has spoken about the background to the deal and how it will operate once the deal has closed.

Jennifer Davis, VP of marketing and product strategy at Planar, said: “In our discussions with Leyard management, they were attracted to Planar’s strong selling and marketing organisations, customer relationships, history of innovation and overall organisational strength.”

She continued: “The Planar executive team that has been guiding the company will remain in place, as Planar will continue to operate as a full service entity under the Leyard umbrella once the transaction closes. Until the time of the close, Planar and Leyard are two separate companies. After the transaction closes, Planar will be a standalone company under the Leyard umbrella.”

Industry analyst Futuresource Consulting commented that the deal had surprised some observers. “Many in the industry expected M&A activity from international videowall vendors looking to control their upstream LED supply chain, not the other way round with Chinese vendors looking to build a more international footprint,” commented Chris McIntyre-Brown, Futuresource associate director of displays & broadcast equipment. “The move grants Leyard access to a brand with a long pedigree, high brand recognition and solid reputation in the tiled display category. It provides access to a skilled channel, predominantly in North America but also wider into global markets, along with a route into the niche but lucrative control room vertical.”

McIntyre-Brown added that in 2014 Leyard Optoelectronic achieved over 40% share of the narrow pixel pitch (NPP) LED market but it was relatively confined to its domestic market and just LED.

While still very much in its infancy, the NPP LED category has generated a huge amount of interest in the past two years as a disruptive large surface display technology. By 2019 Futuresource has forecast that NPP will account for 31% of total videowall value and 15% of volume (measured by screen area).

Planar Systems – digital displays and signage solutions

Leyard LED display products

Industry analyst Futuresource Consulting