CINCINNATI—Thomson Broadcast announced today that it will acquire GatesAir, a leading provider of radio and TV transmission systems. Thomson is buying GatesAir from an affiliate of The Gores Group (“Gores”), which acquired the Harris transmission business in 2012 and rebranded it as GatesAir. The transaction is subject to certain regulatory filings and is expected to close in the second half of 2022. Details of the transaction were not disclosed.
The acquisition comes after Thomson Broadcast’s announcement in 2019 that it was expanding its focus in the U.S., anticipating a strong market for the spectrum repack (which was completed in 2020) as well as for ATSC 3.0 transmission systems. It opened a New York office and distribution center to meet demand for its low-power to high-power transmitters.
GatesAir has a storied history in the broadcast industry over the past 100 years and has recently seen strong growth from the spectrum repack program. GatesAir worked with Bowen Inc. to find a buyer, eventually settling on Thomson Broadcast.
The combination of GatesAir with Thomson Broadcast will create a scaled, comprehensive platform with greater capabilities in innovation, design and product efficiency and an expanded portfolio of holistic, turnkey broadcast solutions, the companies said.
“GatesAir is already an undisputed leader in the broadcast industry, and our combination with Thomson Broadcast will create a combined company of larger scale even better suited to meet the ever-evolving needs of our customers all over the globe,” said Bruce D. Swail, CEO of GatesAir. “I am very proud of the GatesAir team for its stewardship of and innovation in this industry over the past century and look forward to entering the next 100 years as an even stronger business leveraging the strengths of two legendary broadcast brands. On behalf of everyone at GatesAir, I’d like to thank Gores for their strategic guidance which was invaluable in growing our business and driving innovation.”
“Over the course of our successful partnership with Bruce and the management team, GatesAir has driven tremendous growth and transformation through organic and inorganic initiatives, establishing itself as a premier, independent broadcast company with market leading technology and service,” said Edward Johnson, Senior Managing Director at The Gores Group. “We have no doubt GatesAir will continue on its successful trajectory and strengthen its market leadership alongside Thomson Broadcast.”
Based in France, Thomson Broadcast has been in existence for more than 100 years, and has extensive experience in DTV and AM Radio, including DRM. Over the past two years, Thomson Broadcast has received awards for providing exceptional DTT turnkey solutions to large-scale digital migration projects in Africa.
“In 2018, we have set the goal to establish ourselves in the US Market. With Thomson Broadcast and GatesAir now united, these two companies will make us stronger in America and globally as well,” says Ylias Akbaraly, Chairman of Thomson Broadcast.
“Thomson Broadcast and GatesAir together can bring innovative and revolutionary products to the broadcast industry in the centuries to come,” says Aby Alexander, President of Thomson Broadcast USA.
“We are delighted to have reached this point,” says Amine Oubid, CEO of Thomson Broadcast. “From the start we were excited to work with the GatesAir team and saw the obvious fit of the two companies. The transaction closing can’t come fast enough for us. We’re very proud to participate in the rallying of two century-old companies and excited to start working together.”