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PE Firm General Atlantic Sells Its Stake in SnapAV


SnapAV logoSnapAV announced today that General Atlantic, its private equity partner, has sold its ownership interest in the company to San Francisco-based Hellman and Friedman, another private equity group. The move, while unexpected, is not unusual in the world of private equity – especially in the case where a portfolio company transitions stages of growth that move it beyond the the investment strategy of the PE partner as compared to when the investment was initially made.

See more on this big change at SnapAV… Continue reading

CEDIA to Pay 6-Figure Annual Tax Penalty to Build HQ in Fishers

Photo of Dennis ErskineIndianapolis, IN-based CEDIA announced this week that it will build a new headquarters building in the neighboring town of Fishers, IN, after “more than 18 months of research, financial analyses, and due diligence.” This new “global headquarters” is the “best solution” as determined by the “CEDIA Board.” The announcement projected the project will cost $13.7 million.

But, the announcement did not reveal one significant additional cost… Continue reading

CEDIA Refuses All Strata-gee Interviews; New Process Invoked

Another Troubling Hit to Transparency

cedia logoIn a disturbing sign of a further retreat from transparency, CEDIA has notified Strata-gee that it will no longer accept any interviews. This policy appears to apply only to Strata-gee, and no reason was given…at least initially.

Will this new policy inhibit Strata-gee’s ability to cover CEDIA? Read on… Continue reading

Strata-gee Talks to New AVAD President Fred Farrar

AVAD logo 2017AVAD, one of the custom integration industry’s leading distributors, is in the process of going through a major transformation, out from under the – some would say – clueless shadows of its previous owner, monster I.T. distributor Ingram Micro…to a more focused posture under new owner Kingswood Capital Management. Now being managed by CEO Tom Jacoby and President Fred Farrar, the company has begun a series of initiatives to transform their geographic footprint, business model, and push to higher revenues.

We spoke with new President Fred Farrar to find out what’s going on at AVAD… Continue reading

Builder Offers World’s First Wi-Fi Certified Smart Home w/Alexa

Lennar logoLennar Corporation, one of the nation’s largest builders of homes, announced today the world’s first Wi-Fi Certified home designs featuring home automation built-in and voice control by Amazon Alexa. The company says this new program is part of its Everything’s Included approach to home building.

See more about Lennar’s plan to build homes with voice-controlled automation included… Continue reading

AVAD Expands Locations and Vendors

AVAD logo 2017AVAD LLC, a leading distributor of custom integration brands, announced this week a dramatic expansion of their business – including no fewer than 11 new facility locations and the addition of Séura, a popular brand of outdoor televisions to their brand assortment. The news suggests an acceleration of their rollout of a new business model that they described in the middle of last year after the company was purchased from Tianjin by Kingswood Capital Management.

See more on this continued expansion by AVAD… Continue reading

Savant Launches New Line of Touch Screens

Savant logoSavant Systems, LLC, a leading controls systems manufacturer for the custom integration industry, announced this week it is launching a all-new line of touch screens it calls “Wally.” This new Wally lineup offers consumers easy access to their climate, lighting, and entertainment systems with a simple touch of the finger.

See more on the Savant Wally touch screen… Continue reading

Readers React to Article on CEDIA Ownership

CEDIA communityThere has been a strong and vocal reaction to our story posted last week in which CEDIA’s Chairman of the Board, Dennis Erskine, countered our assertion that the members owned CEDIA. Noting that the law says that non-profit organizations have no owners, the chairman corrected our assumption. He was correct, we were wrong.

However, the story caught the attention of many of our readers, including some very prominent and influential executives in the custom integration community.

See what Strata-gee readers had to say about our story on CEDIA ownership… Continue reading

We Ask CEDIA’s Chairman About Members Rights

cedia logoWe asked for and participated in a telephone interview with CEDIA Chairman of the Board Dennis Erskine and Senior Director of Marketing Cris Pyle in late May to discuss several topics swirling around the organization. First and foremost, we were seeking greater insight into the departure of CEDIA’s CEO Vin Bruno, as well as Ron Fleming and others, but we also discussed a few other topics – notably what rights members have, and what rights they don’t have.

See what the CEDIA executives told us… Continue reading

LG Targets Home Cinema with ProBeam Compact Laser Projector

photo of LG ProBeam

LG Electronics announced this week an interesting new compact laser projector targeted at the home cinema enthusiast. Although quite affordable, this light and compact projector –  called the LG ProBeam – features some very cool technology and features sure to delight residential movie fans.

Check out the LG’s new ProBeam… Continue reading