In talking with Scott Gill, Milestone CEO, he explains the reasons behind the merger.
“Milestone and Vaddio share a heritage in innovation and customer service,” says Gill. “There’s some commonality between the brands where customers are concerned and we see opportunities to increase that.”
When deals like this happen, there are typically questions of positions and dealerships being lost. According to Gill, their hope is that existing Vaddio dealers will see the value in becoming Milestone dealers as well. In terms of how the products will be represented in the marketplace, they will look at each region. Currently, both Chief and Da-Lite, the U.S. products for Milestone, have reps that are employed by them directly. They do employee independent reps as well.
“We believe there is a lot of cultural commonality in making the integrations easier for the dealer,” Gill explains when talking about how to merge the two cultures together. “That spirit of what does the dealer, what does the installer need, to make their job go better.”
Gill says they are committed to continuing to grow the research and development of Vaddio’s product line. This is certainly a new area for Milestone to step in to—another is the development of various brand names.
Both Chief and Da-Lite have European counterparts under the Milestone brand—Sanus and Projecta. According to Gill, they plan on expanding the Vaddio brand throughout Europe using their existing infrastructure. This means not rebranding Vaddio into something else outside North America.
One aspect that will serve Vaddio well in the coming years is its placement on the show floors of both InfoComm and ISE. As a longtime exhibitor, Milestone has a preferred exhibitor status with the show operators and could be in a position to place Vaddio in a better spot on the show floor, if not in the same booth as the rest of the Milestone products.
Overall, this is a great move for both companies. Milestone acquires a brand with some innovative products, very loyal fans, and a company with some talented employees. Vaddio as a brand acquires a company that understands the AV industry. The investment group that purchased them last year was just an investment group. Milestone has been in the industry for a long time, allowing Vaddio to benefit from that longevity as well as the Milestone dealer network.