Gemini Sound Products has acquired 21-year-old Ness Import Inc., the special effects lighting manufacturer formerly based in Hackensack, NJ. Ness' 11 employees, drawn mostly from sales, marketing, and product development, joined Gemini's 120 staffers at that firm's Carteret, NJ-based headquarters once the acquisition was announced in early July.

Gemini, known for its DJ audio products, has been making the LyteQuest Pro special effects lighting brand for four years now. As a result of the acquisition, Gemini has added the Ness and Show Pro units to its lineup. Gemini CEO Artie Cabasso says talks for the takeover began three years ago.

"We see the lighting business becoming a big percentage of our sales," says Cabasso. "Growing it yourself is one way to do it; acquiring someone who has the product already but is lacking the customer service or other elements is another. This was a good opportunity that saved us a lot of time." Former Ness customers, he adds, are "thrilled" by the acquisition; "they're going to receive full support and quality control from Gemini."

Lighting accounted for 10% of Gemini's business; with the addition of Ness, that segment now accounts for 15-20%, Cabasso says. He adds, "lighting had been growing strongly in the six months before the acquisition. It should be up to 30% in a year and a half."

Ness CEO Nahum Meir is now vice president of Gemini's lighting division, including the LyteQuest Pro, Ness, and Show Pro brands. "It was time to expand the business and this move gives us tremendous financial support and stability, along with Gemini's expertise in marketing to the industry," Meir said in a statement.