From left: InnovaSon's Xavier Pion and Gérard Malvot, and Lawo CEO Philipp Lawo
Lawo, a German manufacturer of high-end digital mixing consoles and routing systems for the broadcast industry, has become a majority shareholder of InnovaSon, the digital mixing console manufacturer based in France that's known primarily for its live sound technology. In 2007, InnovaSon went into receivership; this agreement officially terminates InnovaSon's receivership period and creates a partnership between the companies for future development.
"It is more a strategic move for both companies than anything else," says InnovaSon sales and marketing director Xavier Pion. "We had been looking for a partner for quite some time. Lawo showed [an] interest in us in September last year. We took the time to make it right. I really look forward to working with these guys in the future to see what we can do together."
In a statement, Lawo CEO Philipp Lawo commented: “Our investment in InnovaSon adds a new dimension to our activities at Lawo. The opportunity to create new synergies will be to the benefit of both companies. InnovaSon is a strong brand in the live sound market, and we are looking forward to taking it to the next level.”
The new agreement will not change the companies' current distribution or marketing models, according to Pion. "We have a name on the live market, they have a name on the broadcast market, and we want to keep that as it is, to develop each brand separately—business as usual."
"The idea is to leave each company's identity intact," adds Kevin Madden of InnovaSon USA in Nashville. "On a more global level, Lawo is a pretty heavy-duty console company, and we're going to be able to share a lot of synergies."
Pion noted the strategic advantage of a partnership between manufacturers that develop similar digital console technologies for separate market sectors: "If you look at this from an outside point of view, broadcast consoles or live consoles basically use mostly the same features. But these markets—and not only for consoles, but that’s what I can talk about—are very separated. People don’t know each other. That’s definitely something that is in our favor because we will not be competing against each other, because we don’t do broadcast consoles. We have done a few sales in the broadcast market, and they have done a few installations in theaters, but that’s also very little compared to their main business. So, I think it can only generate growth for both of us, because we can exchange information.
"Having Lawo as a partner is giving us much more power to be able to compete in terms of time-to-market, because that’s something very important in our market," Pion continues. "And time-to-market depends on the resources that you have, because time is money."
Pion confirms that the new partnership will give InnovaSon the resources it needs to expand its marketing efforts in Europe, Asia and the U.S.