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Paris-based Thomson Broadcast closes acquisition of GatesAir – Muddy River News

InsideRadio.com reported Tuesday that French broadcast manufacturing giant Thomson Broadcast has closed its previously announced acquisition of GatesAir, the century-old radio and TV equipment manufacturer.

GatesAir is a manufacturer of products for over-the-air radio and television broadcasting. It is headquartered in Mason, Ohio, with manufacturing in Quincy.

Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

“The acquisition of GatesAir is an excellent and significant step for Thomson Broadcast to further reinforce its worldwide leadership in the fast-evolving world of broadcast technology,” Ylias Akbaraly, chairman of Thomson Broadcast, said in a release. 

“Today opens an exciting new era in the rich history of two companies and trusted brands that have each been delighting customers for more than 100 years. Today’s announcement is also exciting for our customers and employees. The combined force of these ideal strategic partners will support each other’s growth and the growth of the industry at large.”

GatesAir is a familiar name to most radio engineers. Parker Gates and his parents, Henry C. Gates and Cora B. Gates, founded Gates Radio and Supply Company in 1922 at their Quincy apartment. GatesAir has built broadcast transmitting equipment for radio and TV stations in 185 countries, introducing the industry’s first solid-state AM transmitter (1973), digital FM exciter (1993) and HD Radio exciter (2003).

“Yesterday’s milestone marks the completion of a robust process that evaluated strategic options for GatesAir to accelerate our strong growth to date,” GatesAir CEO Bruce D. Swail said. “We are delighted with final outcome of the acquisition process and look forward to working together with our new partners for this next chapter in our eventful story.”

The Gores Group, a Los Angeles-based investment firm, purchased Harris Broadcast Communications from Harris Corp. in 2012 for $225 million. Harris Broadcast then was split in 2014 into Imagine Communications and GatesAir.

The Gores Group worked with Boston-based investment bank Bowen Inc. in putting the deal together, which the companies say included interest from several strategic and financial parties.

“We are pleased to have played an important role in GatesAir’s transformational growth, and we believe that Thomson Broadcast is well positioned to strengthen its position as a premier leader in broadcasting,” said Edward Johnson, senior managing director at The Gores Group. “We thank Bruce and the GatesAir team for our successful partnership over the years and believe the company will continue to drive further growth with the support of Thomson Broadcast.”

Thomson Broadcast, which also is 100 years old, is based in Paris and recently opened a U.S. office in West Palm Beach, Fla. Thomson itself was acquired in 2018 by Group Sipromad of Madagascar. Thomson has sold equipment in 170 countries and is credited with helping shape the evolution of the TV and radio transmission market.

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