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Harris Acquires Leitch


Equipment manufacturer Harris Corporation has entered into an agreement to acquire all of the shares of Leitch Technology Corporation for approximately $450 million. The transaction is expected to close in 60 days.“Our products are very complementary with each other, with limited overlap, as are our sales and distribution channels,” said Howard Lance, chairman, president and CEO of Harris. “Leitch’s portfolio complements our own and will allow this combined organization to participate in virtually every segment of the content delivery chain.”Those products include Leitch’s line of news, postproduction editing, branding and graphics systems as well as video servers and storage, routing, signal processing and test and measurement product lines.Lance described Leitch as a company that “until recently suffered from weak management and aging products,” but credited Leitch president and CEO Tim Thorsteinson with turning the company around.“[Tim] was brought in 18 months ago to get the company back on track,” explained Lance. “Prior to joining Leitch, Tim engineered the successful turnaround at Grass Valley Group where he was CEO… Under Tim’s leadership cost reductions are being implemented.”Since Thorsteinson took the helm, the company, which had revenues of $183 million in fiscal 2005, made two acquisitions: test and measurement company Videotek in 2004, followed by on-air graphics company Inscriber earlier this year.In late 2004, Harris acquired automation and media asset management software developer Encoda Systems.

Written by Scott Lehane

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