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Thomson Broadcast Will Acquire GatesAir

"Definitive agreement" is announced, pending regulatory steps

Thomson Broadcast Logo Thomson Broadcast will acquire GatesAir, in a deal involving two manufacturers with deep radio and TV roots.

The companies announced a definitive agreement for Thomson to acquire GatesAir from the Gores Group. Terms were not made public. The transaction is expected to close in the second half, pending regulatory approvals.

In 2012 Gores purchased Harris Broadcast Communications from Harris Corp. for $225 million. In 2014 Harris Broadcast then was split into Imagine Communications and GatesAir.

GatesAir logoGatesAir is a manufacturer of products for over-the-air radio and television broadcasting; it is celebrating its 100th anniversary this year. It is headquartered in Mason, Ohio, with manufacturing in Quincy, Ill.

Thomson Broadcast is headquartered in Paris, France, with U.S. operations in West Palm Beach, Fla. Thomson too is more than 100 years old. It was responsible for the first live radio transmission from the Eiffel Tower in 1937.  Most recently it was acquired in 2018 by Group Sipromad of Madagascar.

Thomson said the acquisition will help it meet its goal to establish itself in the U.S. market, which it set four years ago.

The announcement was made by Bruce D. Swail, CEO of GatesAir, and Edward Johnson, senior managing director at The Gores Group, who said, “We have no doubt GatesAir will continue on its successful trajectory and strengthen its market leadership alongside Thomson Broadcast.”

According to the announcement, GatesAir has enjoyed strong recent growth thanks in part to the North American Spectrum Repack program.

“GatesAir worked with Bowen Inc. on a robust process which involved interest from several strategic and financial parties, with Thomson Broadcast prevailing due to its highly complementary fit.”

[Related: GatesAir’s 100 Years in Pictures]