JVC Kenwood to invest in Tait Communications
Written by: Sam Fenwick | Published:

Company to also launch a broadband solutions business as a top priority and will leverage Tait’s expertise as part of this initiative; Tait expands its UK operations with two new hires

JVC Kenwoood has entered into an agreement for a share acquisition and a capital and business alliance with Tait Communications and revealed that it is looking to launch a broadband solutions business as a top priority.

Details of the amount of shares to be purchased and the value of the deal have, as of writing, not been disclosed. JVC Kenwood plans to acquire shares in Tait Communuications in October 2018 and the impact that this will have on JVC Kenwood’s 2018 business forecast is expected to be minor.

Land Mobile understands that the proposed minority investment by JVC Kenwood requires approval from New Zealand’s Overseas Investment Office. Tait Communications’ majority owner will remain the charitable foundation established by its founder Sir Angus Tait prior to his death. To allow external investment in the business, a new New Zealand-based company, Tait International, was set up and Tait’s businesses will be transferred over to it prior to JVC Kenwood’s investment being finalised. Garry Diack, Tait Communications’ chief executive has been previously reported as saying that the company is looking to raise around $20 million.

In a statement, JVC Kenwood said: “In the professional digital radio solutions market, a major transition from narrowband to broadband networks is underway with advances in digital transformation. Under these circumstances, we view the launch of the broadband solution business, as a new top priority business area to achieve medium- and long-term growth of the communications systems business down the road.

“…By integrating the technologies, know-how, and sales channels of JVC Kenwood and Tait International, we will work to rapidly launch and expand the broadband solution business.”

JVC Kenwood is seeking to increase its activities in the North American public safety market by strengthening cooperation with its communications system subsidiaries in the US and aiming to provide total solutions for P25 professional radio systems. The company is also converting Italy-based Radio Activity S.r.l., a developer and seller of digital radio relay systems that are compliant with DMR standards capable of small-scale system construction at low cost), into a subsidiary. It is also deploying the NEXEDGE series of professional digital radio systems around the world.

Tait expands its UK presence
In related news, Tait continues to reinvest in its UK operations, having recently employed Richard Russell (who has previously worked at both Roadphone NRB and Motorola Solutions) as UK and Ireland business development manager along with Simon Gunton as UK/Ireland channel sales manager. Gunton previously worked for 14 years at Commend, a company specialising in intercom systems, in a number of roles including internal sales, field operations, and as a business development manager.

Both Russell and Gunton will work with former and current Tait channel partners and Russell says that he’s looking to re-establish relations with former channel partners who had a good experience with Tait’s products but drifted away when its UK-based support declined.

Russell will focus on helping them to develop and realise larger projects and opportunities, as well as those around Tait’s DMR infrastructure products, as he says that initial feedback from the channel he’s received has highlighted the ease and speed at which Tait DMR systems can be installed and deployed.

L-R: Richard Russell and Simon Gunton have recently joined Tait and are providing additional channel support in the UK

Tait is working to further increase its UK-based technical and sales support for the channel, with multiple points of contact and is looking to have this in place by the end of the year. The recruitment of Russell and Gunton follows on from the addition of Andrew Gill as managing director of Tait’s EMEA business back in February 2017. He is also based in the UK (see our interview with Gill that appeared in our March 2017 issue here).

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