Planar to buy Clarity Visual Systems

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Planar Systems Inc. on Wednesday announced it will acquire Clarity Visual Systems for approximately $46 million. Clarity is a provider of command and control digital displays and digital signage hardware and software systems. Planar said the purchase will coincide with its new strategic focus on the specialty display market.

“This acquisition fits very well with our new strategic direction, focusing on specialized display market segments that allow Planar to deliver more value to our customers and sell higher-margin solutions,” said Planar President and CEO Gerry Perkel. "Clarity brings these attributes to Planar, and provides us with an excellent group of employees to augment the existing talent at our company."

Clarity is a leader in market applications where large-screen, multiple integrated displays create a "wall of information." The company's patented information processing hardware and software systems control the display of information from a wide variety of sources to the display system application. Other command and control products from the company include premium displays targeted at a wide range of market applications, including transportation and traffic control, security and defense programs, energy, broadcast and telecommunication segments, Planar said.

The market for command and control room visual systems was estimated by iSuppli at more than $400 million globally in 2005, and is forecasted to grow more than 15 percent annually.

Upon completion of the acquisition, Paul Gulick, president and chief executive officer, and Kris Gorriaran, senior vice president, sales and marketing will join Planar's executive team. Gulick will become Planar's vice president and chief technology officer, and Gorriaran will become vice president and general manager of the newly acquired business group. Both will report directly to Perkel.

Clarity was founded in 1995 and recorded net sales of $59 million in 2006. Clarity currently employs approximately 200 people, with more than half based at the company's headquarters in Wilsonville, Ore.