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Planar targets AR and VR with NaturalPoint acquisition

Planar has entered into a definitive merger agreement to acquire leading optical tracking and motion capture solutions provider, NaturalPoint, for $125 million in an all-cash transaction.

The acquisition brings together leaders in complementary technologies to increase attention on the high growth and strategic opportunities in augmented and virtual reality and in other market segments like CAVEs, drone tracking, movement sciences, sports performance, computer visualisation and animation.

NaturalPoint, makers of OptiTrack, TrackIR and SmartNav branded products, is headquarters in close proximity to Planar’s Oregon campus, which will facilitate opportunities to better serve the growing customer bases, work with suppliers, and collaborate with partners to support these two businesses.

Zach Zhang, the Chairman of Planar, commented: “We believe these two companies will complement each other and create significant opportunities for growth. This acquisition demonstrates our ongoing commitment to building capabilities in engineering, manufacturing, marketing, and sales in North America and internationally.”

Jim Richardson, CEO of NaturalPoint, added: “NaturalPoint has grown to be the leader in precision optical tracking and this acquisition recognises the ecosystem relationship that exists between tracking and display technology. This acquisition is all about leveraging our strengths with the Planar team and continuing to build the world’s best tracking products for our existing customers and for new markets.”

The acquisition is expected to finalise in the fourth calendar quarter of 2016 or early in the first calendar quarter of 2017. NaturalPoint will remain a separate business with its own executive team, customers, and market initiatives.

Planar display solutions

NaturalPoint optical tracking solutions