As vice president and general manager of Genlyte's Controls, Vari-Lite, and Entertainment Technology divisions, you were a key player in the company's acquisition of the US- and Hong Kong-based operations of Strand Lighting and certain assets of Strand Lighting Ltd of the UK as part of a restructuring being undertaken by Strand. What was the attraction to Strand for Genlyte?
Strand is one of the best-known theatrical brands in the world with the latest technologies and products, and gives us access to both the Asian and European markets. As one of the most specified brands in theatre, Strand is a perfect complement to our existing package of brands and product portfolio.
Tell us how the acquisition happened.
The venture capital group who owned the majority of Strand Lighting Group contacted us. They explained their desire to either sell portions of the company or file for bankruptcy. We had to move very quickly to gain access to the most attractive portions of the company and were fortunate to be able to do so.
There is some product overlap between Entertainment Technology and Strand, at least on the console side. What are Genlyte's plans to deal with that?
There is actually minor overlapping between Entertainment Technology and Strand. Each brand serves different markets with unique solutions for the client. Strand is one of main suppliers of conventional theatrical lighting, sine wave dimming, and conventional lighting controls. Entertainment Technology is more of a niche player with distributed IGBT dimming and Marquee® lighting control console technologies designed to bridge the gap between automated and conventional lighting. We believe there is a great deal of synergy between the two brands, which will significantly strengthen our lighting and controls packages, and we intend to capitalize on it.
What can Genlyte bring to Strand that wasn't there, and conversely, what does Strand bring to the Genlyte portfolio?
The Genlyte Group brings the unique stability and discipline of one of the largest and most successful lighting companies in the world. We operate our companies through investing in them and allowing them to focus on their specific target markets. Strand brings to Genlyte one of the most respected brands in the industry today. It has superior technologies in dimming and controls and has a leading position in conventional theatrical lighting. I believe this combination is powerful and will help make Strand the market leader it deserves to be.
With this acquisition, what do you see as Genlyte's role in the entertainment technology industry?
The acquisition of Strand places Genlyte in the enviable position of being one of the largest players in the entertainment market. We now have a truly complete product and technology portfolio that ranges from automated lighting to wallbox dimmers with everything in between. No other single manufacturer will be able to offer the complete lighting and controls packages as Genlyte, and subsequently, I believe this acquisition will have a significant influence on the entertainment industry.