Christie Digital Systems seems to be going back to its core business – having wound down the digital signage creative shop Arsenal Media (which become Christie 360) and now selling off Allure Global, the cinema and QSR-focused digital signage solutions provider.
Allure’s new masters are the guys at Creative Realities, also known as CRI.
“We worked diligently to find the best fit for our first acquisition as part of our previously announced strategy to augment organic growth — done with the right partner and with the right metrics,” says Rick Mills, CRI’s Chief Executive Officer. “Allure and its content management systems offer an opportunity for CRI to expand into new sales verticals, as its customers include some of the world’s largest chains of quick serve restaurants, motion picture theaters, sports stadiums and arenas. In addition to the enhanced scale that this acquisition brings to CRI, Allure’s expertise in content optimization and transactional analytics will prove to be beneficial to the entire CRI customer base.”
“From an integration perspective, we’ll have the opportunity to consolidate a number of Allure’s important back-end services, such as installation, support, project management and network operations, to CRI’s existing services platform, which will meaningfully increase efficiency and profitability. Finally, the addition of an operational branch in Atlanta is important as we expand our national presence.”
The press release continues:
Allure Global Solutions, Inc. provides a complete set of solutions for its customers operating thousands of digital signage installations nationally and also has a strong partnership with one of the world’s largest beverage companies. Its tenured management team has developed leading capabilities in content strategy, creation and optimization, and has made ROI a key part of its digital signage strategy—empirically demonstrating, through sophisticated analytics, that its offerings can increase revenue at its customers’ point of sale. Allure has an enviable pipeline of pilot projects with marquee brands, as well as significant international expansion opportunities.
Craig Chapin, President of Allure, remarked, “Allure is excited to join CRI because of the opportunity it provides to expand our offerings to current and future customers. Allure’s experienced team of client service personnel will be complimented by CRI’s larger footprint and strong digital professionals teaming to provide an industry leading level of service and reach bringing new innovations to the digital signage marketplace.”
Under the terms of the definitive agreement, CRI has agreed to purchase the outstanding stock of Allure at closing, comprised of a combination of cash, seller note and assumption of certain liabilities. CRI would also make a contingent payment to the seller if Allure achieves certain targets over the next two years.
Craig Sholder, Executive Vice President, Business Development and Strategic Planning at Christie Digital remarked, “We believe this transaction makes good sense for the customers and employees of Allure. Christie has diligently looked for the right partner for the Allure business model and we are certain that the combination with CRI is the right fit. We are committed to a swift closing and smooth transition.”
The companies expect the completion of the acquisition to occur within sixty days, subject to the timely satisfaction or waiver of the closing conditions.
Allure says its platform is connected to about 25,000 networked displays and devices.
Christie is known for projectors and displays, but a few years ago started stepping into the services side of the business, and even started a cinema media network. Not sure where that one sits, but it is a company filled with bright engineering minds and these other pieces probably never quite fit.
CRI is in the process of trying to up-list its common stock from the over the counter market to the NASDAQ Capital Market.“Being in a position to list our common stock on the NASDAQ Capital Market,” says Mills, “reflects significant progress that has been made in building our financial and liquidity standards, positioning the Company for future growth and profitability, and strengthening our corporate governance.”
Dave Haynes is the founder and editor of Sixteen:Nine, an online publication that has followed the digital signage industry for some 14 years. Dave does strategic advisory consulting work for many end-users and vendors, and also writes for many of them. He’s based near Halifax, Nova Scotia, on Canada’s east coast.