SMART Technologies, the world’s leading provider of interactive
whiteboards, announces the acquisition of New Zealand-based NextWindow
(Next Holdings Limited), a leading designer and manufacturer of optical
touch technology for integration into all-in-one computers, computer
displays and large-format screens. The acquisition reinforces SMART’s
own investment in optical touch research and development, and combines
the two companies’ significant optical touch patent portfolios. The
NextWindow acquisition is expected to have minimal impact on both
businesses’ day-to-day operations, offices and company structure. Both
SMART and NextWindow are privately held companies.
NextWindow supplies optical touch components to
manufacturers of PCs and other interactive displays. Its touch
components are used in PCs and monitors sold by Dell, Hewlett-Packard,
Lenovo, Medion, NEC, Samsung and Sony. The acquisition extends SMART’s
current presence in the education, business and government sectors into
the broader consumer market. SMART is also expanding its business in
Asia, where NextWindow has already been active. In the past year,
NextWindow has developed an Asian presence in Singapore, Taiwan and
"SMART serves a range of markets, and it is timely to
diversify our revenue base beyond the sectors we already serve," says
Nancy Knowlton, SMART’s CEO. "NextWindow’s core values, business model,
patent portfolio and focus on the consumer market make it an attractive
acquisition for us."
"We are combining two companies with complementary expertise
and a remarkably similar culture focused on innovation and excellence,"
says Al Monro, NextWindow’s CEO. "NextWindow’s development of optical
touch technology complements SMART’s efforts, and I’m delighted that we
are becoming part of SMART."
In the transaction, RBC Capital Markets were financial
advisors to SMART and Cowen and Company, LLC were financial advisors to