Finland - The Finnish companies Audico and Starlike are merging their operations. Measured in net sales, the merger will result in Finland's largest provider of audiovisual and event technology solutions and devices.

"Our product ranges complement one another brilliantly. Audico specializes in sound systems and turnkey AV system deliveries for companies, schools, shopping centres, cruise ships, churches and other public spaces, as well as in the manufacture and import of equipment," says Audico's managing director, Harri Leiva. "Starlike is a leading provider of sound and lighting systems for theatres, concert halls and other performing arts centres, among others. The merger will bring a great deal of expertise under one roof, and together we will be able to offer customers even more comprehensive service.

"The merger enables us to engage in even closer partnerships with our suppliers. In addition we can direct more resources into sales and sales support functions as well as customer training."

Both companies will retain their names. Starlike's current owner, Juki Orpana, and managing director, Mika Pynnönen, will both remain with the company. Other staff will transfer to the service of the new company as existing employees.

The merger will help both companies to prepare for the changes taking place in the AV sector; the migration towards the ICT sector is challenging the entire market. In addition to traditional competence, deeper IT knowledge is required. A considerable proportion of today's AV systems are being integrated with network systems. The company formed under the business arrangement will have strong expertise and experience in delivering demanding AV and event technology web solutions.

"The key aspect for the user is the interface that serves the entire system. Customers are placing increasing emphasis on the user experience: they want reliable, easy-to-use and secure systems. Other important issues in AV investments are the life cycle and environmental impacts of the products. The broader our expertise, the better we will cope with future changes," stresses Pynnönen.

(Jim Evans)

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