NEC Acquires German LED Solution Provider S[quadrat]

NEC Display has announced its acquisition of S[quadrat], a provider of LED solutions, as the company looks to expand its display technology portfolio to include complete, fine-pitch LED systems for indoor, as well as outdoor solutions, designed and engineered in Germany.

Over the past three years, NEC has promoted the S[quadrat] product portfolio across all major markets.

No information on the purchase price was released and S[quadrat] will continue to operate under its own name. It is reported to have made over 3,000 LED installations over its history.

Analyst Comment

This is very much a deal done to help NEC to develop its presence in the LED market. The company has been promoting itself as a high quality supplier, but couldn’t maintain a presence in the future just on the basis of its brand and relationships – it believes that it needed some unique technology that it could exploit. We had a very brief chat with the CEO of S[quadrat] and also Bernd Eberhard who leads the NEC Display team in Europe and it’s clear that there is a real desire on both sides to press on with development.

Eberhardt and NEC have built a strong organisation in Europe based on long term relationships with users and channels and with strong local knowledge throughout the region and the acquisition of a German company is great to see. The acquisition also highlights how important ‘know how’ is in this market and adds to the strategic purchases made by Leyard (with Planar) and Samsung (with Yesco) in the US to help them to develop their LED businesses.

One of the markets where NEC has been strong over recent years has been digital cinema. One of the big stories of 2017 was the start of the LED Cinema business and it was clear after conversations at ISE that NEC is not ready to simply concede any part of that market without a fight. However, it needed more LED knowledge and S[quadrat] has that knowledge. Equally, the new subsidiary will benefit from access to NEC’s resources and economic power. (BR)