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This morning, Planar Systems, Inc. announced that it has purchased privately-held Runco International - a leading manufacturer of performance home cinema projectors and flat panel displays, marketed globally under the Runco and Vidikron brand names. This acquisition combines Planar Systems, Inc's specialty display heritage and technology expertise with Runco's proven brand prowess in the custom high-end channel.


While this acquisition combines the many market strengths of Planar Systems, Inc. and Runco International, the brands, products, go-to-market and partner strategies are unchanged for all three brands. In short, Planar is not looking to replace Runco, Vidikron or Planar's own brand, but to strengthen all three in the specialty home theater and custom integrator space. Furthermore, the people you are working with within each organization remain as they are today.


Planar is excited about this acquisition because it brings together the home theater industry's best talent and aligns Runco's stellar brand and product offering with Planar's global service, logistics and supply chain management excellence.
 

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Wow - what made Sam decide to sell out his company? Retirement? Anyone know the backstory that we will otherwise never get from press releases?


That makes for quite the dealer lineup with Planar's value priced lineup at the bottom of high end - then Vidikron for the step up dealers - then Runco brand for price is no object!
 

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Kind of a shame. Sam has been an ardent supporter of the high end home theater crowd and has sponsored many of the parties and events attended by AVS'ers. Someone should talk him into buying the JVC DILA product lines
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pete /forum/post/0


What suprises me is that I would have thought it to be worth more than $36 million. Sam must have wanted out.

That's what I thought. $36m sounds like the average annual salary for a typical Runco customer.


"Did you like your Runco?"

"Why yes! So much so that I bought the company!"




But seriously, what does this mean? Less expensive rebadged projectors?
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by krasmuzik /forum/post/0


Mark


Why buy JVC when you can OEM them instead - paint it black with art deco trim on the hushbox and sell it for 10x?

A lot of people have been hoping that JVC would focus on the core DILA LCOS technology and spend their R&D budget developing the engine for resale to OEMs like TI does with DLP. I remember Joe Kane suggesting this way back in the late '90s with their older ILA technology (along with most of the Hughes-JVC Technology engineers who also felt that this made a lot of sense).


Instead they have split their R&D resources between chip and projector development and by developing projectors they are competing against their own potential OEM allies which just about guarantees that the OEM model will fail. Someone needs to buy the DILA R&D group and concentrate their resources innovating the technology and it would be great if Sam would do it, in fact I'd even go to work for a company like that. It might be that another chip company will buy the DILA R&D group in which case Sam could be equally successful starting a OEM company that focuses on just the projectors. Either way there are interesting times a foot.
 

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Originally Posted by wildfire99 /forum/post/0


That's what I thought. $36m sounds like the average annual salary for a typical Runco customer.



A person has to hand it to Sam. In this ultra competitive industry much of the R&D development and manufacturing happens overseas and cut rate but high performance products are sold in high volume and with low margins by the megastores like BB and CC. In this competitive marketplace Sam has somehow managed to walk a tight rope and be successful with products that are expensive and run counter to the direction of the rest of the industry.


Looking forward though I think it's a good thing that he is selling now. With high performance products like the Pearl and RS-1 that street for $3k+ and with the megastores adding decent technical support and installation such as what BB now has with Magnolia, it's going to be even tougher for a company like Runco and their B&M dealers to do well.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·

Quote:
Originally Posted by krasmuzik /forum/post/0


Wow - what made Sam decide to sell out his company? Retirement? Anyone know the backstory that we will otherwise never get from press releases?


That makes for quite the dealer lineup with Planar's value priced lineup at the bottom of high end - then Vidikron for the step up dealers - then Runco brand for price is no object!

My source tells me the company has been on the market for the past few months. They needed an exit strategy and long term success in the market isn't guaranteed. Like others have said, the market is becoming saturated with lower cost, higher performance products and my guess is that Sam didn't see how they could continue to compete with this. $36 million ain't a bad retirement bonus. Good for him, he earned it.
 

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Yes congrats Sam I owned a few of your projectors. Good luck in the future. Wait 36 million, I thought that was the going rate for one of there top of the lines
j/k good luck
 

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I dunno, the press release says they had net sales of about $55M over the last 12 months. Net income for a profitable electronics firm could be anywhere from 0%-10% of net sales. I'll bet he got more than 10x current net income. Seems reasonable to me, especially if he was looking for an exit.


Regardless, congratulations are due to Sam for an illustrious career!
 

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Congrats Sam! hope you stay with us and hope to see you at the parties!
 

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Originally Posted by Tryg /forum/post/0


Congrats Sam! hope you stay with us and hope to see you at the parties!

Naw he's gone. F the mooks.
 
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