The Obie Company, the Torrance, CA-based production lighting company, has merged with Westsun International, the Winnipeg, Canada-based technical support company. The combined organization sports a gross revenue of over $50 million US and will provide technical support to the event and entertainment industries throughout North America.

Under the deal, corporate headquarters will be situated in Winnipeg. The Obie Company will continue to operate under its existing name; Dave Oberman will remain president and CEO and will be responsible for all activities of the merged company in the US market. Westsun International and Obie are currently working together on the technical fit-out of the Staples Arena in Los Angeles.

"Merging with The Obie Company is a perfect cultural fit for Westsun," says Marc Raymond, chairman and CEO of Westsun. "By meshing the synergies of two very creative organizations we create a platform for future expansion and growth for both companies." Adds Oberman: "By merging with Westsun, we are able to enhance our services to our combined client base, increasing our penetration in the marketplace."

Westsun president and COO Phil Bernard will be responsible for overseeing the integration of the two companies. "With the talented individuals involved in both organizations, it is my belief that we will create a dynamic, vibrant company which will expand to lead the industry," Bernard says.

In another move, the company secured a $70 million (US) debt and equity facility underwritten by Heller Financial Inc., GATX Capital Corporation, Gemini Investors LLC, The Crocus Fund, and Vision Capital.