Planar Systems Completes NaturalPoint Acquisition for $125 Million

Clifton Dawson, CEO Clifton Dawson, CEO Devices & Technology, Insight Articles, Interfaces, Location-Based Entertainment, Location-Based xR Intelligence Service, Shared Environments, Virtual Reality, Virtual Reality Intelligence Service

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Planar Systems, a leading worldwide provider of display systems, announced this week that the transaction to acquire NaturalPoint has now been finalized. This follows the signing of the definitive agreement in November 2016.

About NaturalPoint

NaturalPoint was founded in 1997 and is headquartered in Corvallis, Oregon. NaturalPoint, and their OptiTrack brand, is a market leader in the growing category of optical tracking and motion capture solutions. Its products help people move through space with the use of specialized cameras to track reflectors or LED’s placed on people and objects as they move.

About Planar

Planar was founded in 1983 and is headquartered in Corvallis.

In 2015, Planar became a subsidiary of Leyard Optoelectronic Co., Ltd., a global leader in the design, production, distribution, and service of digital displays, video walls, and visualization products worldwide. Leyard was founded in 1995, is headquartered in Beijing, China and is traded on the Shenzhen Stock Exchange.

Planar Acquisition History

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Rationale for the Acquisition

The acquisition brings together Oregon-based leaders in complementary technologies to continue to accelerate its development of leading edge products serving high growth and strategic opportunities in virtual reality (VR) CAVEs, drone and robot tracking, movement sciences, sports performance, computer visualization character animation, and more. Leyard, which is headquartered in Beijing, China,  may seek to use the acquisition to build a larger presence in the United States.

The close physical proximity of the two companies will also facilitate opportunities to better serve their growing customer bases, work with valued suppliers, and collaborate with industry partners to support these two businesses.

Our Perspective

Demand for NaturalPoint's kind of trackers are set to increase in the United States and worldwide, particularly in China. The kind of trackers produced by NaturalPoint are already used for CGI movie production, motion capture for video games, and sports performance analysis. However, with the rise of the location-based virtual reality market, led by companies such as the The Void, optical motion tracking will be in high demand. Greenlight Insights forecasts that China will lead the global market in new venue openings and aggregate market value. With this latest acquisition, Planar, and their parent company Leyard, are well positioned to capitalize on this market.

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