Apr 25, 2010

SMART Technologies Acquires NextWindow

Here is the scoop from PR Web:


SMART Acquires NextWindow

Acquisition extends SMART’s presence into broader consumer market and strengthens IP portfolio
Calgary, AB (Vocus/PRWEB ) April 25, 2010 -- 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 Korea.

“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 NextWindow.

About NextWindow
Founded in 2001, NextWindow is a designer and manufacturer of optical touch screens for integration into all-in-one computers, computer displays and large-format screens. NextWindow is a leader in optical touch technology, enabling OEMs, ODMs and resellers to add touch-screen capability to their products. With offices in New Zealand, Taiwan, Singapore and the United States, the company provides cost-effective manufacturing for PCs as well as customized solutions for kiosks, digital signage and interactive education. www.nextwindow.com
About SMART
SMART Technologies, the global leader in interactive whiteboards, develops easy-to-use integrated products and services that can improve the way the world works and learns. For more than 20 years, innovation and commitment to excellence have been at the core of our business. We help educators achieve better results with technology products that support student-centered learning. We help businesses become more productive with easy-to-use collaboration solutions that enable better results. Our success is driven by our deep commitment to and engagement with both the education and business communities. www.smarttech.com

For more information, please contact:
Marina Geronazzo
Manager, Public Relations
SMART Technologies
Phone +1.403.407.5088
Cell +1.403.605.6607
Web www.smarttech.com
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Chris Keall, 4/26/10, The National Business Review (NZ)
[UPDATE: A spokeswoman for NextWindow told NBR the company's NZ office would be retained in the wake of the Smart Technology deal, and that there would be no change to staff.]
"NextWindow revenue surged to $40 million last year (from the previous year's $6.5 million) as Microsoft’s Windows 7 software helped push its touchscreen technology toward the mainstream. 
The Auckland-based company sells its touchscreen panel to Dell, HP, Sony, NEC and other large computer companies. HP’s TouchSmart series (pictured above) is one line of PCs that features technology made by NextWindow."







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