Barco Buying High End Systems

BRUSSELS, June 10 (Reuters) – Belgian display and visual systems company Barco announced on Tuesday a $55 million deal to buy High End Systems, a U.S. digital lighting company majority-owned by U.S. private equity firm Generation Partners.

Barco (BAR.BR: Quote, Profile, Research), whose displays are used at sports stadiums and pop concerts, in medical imaging systems and in-flight simulators, said High End Systems would be directly integrated into its Media and Entertainment division.

The deal, which was based on a multiple of eight times High End Systems' earnings before interest, tax, debt and amortisation (EBITDA), is expected to have a neutral impact on Barco's earning per share in 2008.

Barco Chief Executive Martin De Prycker told a news conference that the deal would also have no impact on the company's 2008 financial forecast of higher profits and sales.

Barco said High End Systems was a profitable company which posted sales of $44 million in 2007 and employed 156 people.

“The acquisition provides Barco … with an additional patent portfolio in the digital lighting market, along with increased distribution channels and products offering worldwide,” it said in a statement.

De Prycker said the deal came at a time when Barco had undergone substantial efforts to reorganise its structure in a bid to bolster growth and was now ready to make buys in strategic areas.

“We are always looking for acquisitions but it takes time…and we are under no time pressure,” De Prycker said.

(Reporting by Julien Ponthus; Editing by Ingrid Melander)