Kramer Acquires SVS

Move unites signal-equipment, routing-switcher suppliers

Kramer Electronics, a manufacturer of analog and digital audio, video and computer signal equipment, has acquired routing-switcher manufacturer Sierra Video Systems (SVS) in a move that broadens Kramer's product offerings and extends SVS's worldwide presence. Terms of the deal were unavailable.

"Not only will we need all of the personnel we have right now, but we'll probably need extra staff," says Kramer Electronics U.S. President Dave Bright. "Our production is going to need to increase simply based on opening up Sierra Video products to the rest of the world."

Headquartered in Israel, Kramer Electronics has 70 offices around the world and a large dealer network. During the past two years, the company has worked closely with SVS as the latter built OEM routing products for it. The decision for Kramer to acquire SVS came about after they realized that that deal was going well but could go better if the companies moved together as one.

"We're strong on the dealer level with our smaller routing switchers while SVS's real strength is in the direct-sales business to broadcasters, the government and the production community."

SVS President Eric Berliner will remain on board, handling SVS operations in Grass Valley, Calif. Bright will remain in Hampton, N.J., with the Kramer Electronics U.S. office. Combined, the two companies have about 45 employees.

Berliner says he's looking forward to SVS's having a chance to be more aggressive in terms of overseas business. "We haven't really pushed overseas and addressed those markets as well as we can. Kramer's offices are a big advantage to us because it takes a long time to build a sales network like that and manage it well."

For now, the attention turns to branding and figuring out the sales channels. With respect to the former, Bright is hopeful that the end result is SVS's becoming a brand built by Kramer Electronics. As for the latter, it's expected that more SVS routers will be handled by sales channels that allow quicker turnaround. Today, the majority of SVS orders are placed 60 or 90 days out; Kramer products, by their nature, tend to be off-the-shelf items.