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Canon acquires Milestone

Canon has signed an agreement to acquire Milestone Systems A/S, the Danish provider of open platform video management software, via its subsidiary Canon Europa NV. The firms say that the new combination will create a player in the fast growing network video surveillance market by combining Canon’s imaging products with Milestone’s video management software.

Canon says that it has a clear ambition to drive future growth through diversification and has identified network video surveillance as a strategic new business area.

Rokus van Iperen, President & CEO, Canon Europe, Middle East and Africa, says: “Canon is aiming to take a leadership position in network video surveillance and we are making an important strategic investment today to realise our objective to expand in this market. Together with Milestone, we can accelerate our growth by delivering new advanced products and solutions for new sectors, through new channels, to offer greater customer value.  We are very excited about working with such a talented and innovative company and we welcome Milestone into the Canon Group.”

And Lars Thinggaard, President and CEO, Milestone Systems, says: “Milestone is extremely excited about the huge potential that being part of a global group will provide. Canon respects how we built our business with our partners and supports our strategy of providing open platform solutions and therefore the need to remain a standalone company within the Canon Group. We feel this step is right for taking both our business and support for suppliers and partners to a new level.”

As part of the Canon Group, the firms say, Milestone will be able to accelerate its business and development of new products. Milestone will be able to use Canon’s business and consumer channels to expand its global market presence.

Milestone says that its Open Platform business model is essential to its future success and Milestone will continue to provide open platform products to the market, while operating as a stand-alone company within the Canon Group.  Milestone’s management will remain in place and are committed to making this transition a success.

Comment

At the market research company IHS, Jon Cropley, principal analyst, said: “Canon is a strong brand in the consumer electronics market. It is well-known as a supplier of digital cameras, camcorders and professional broadcast cameras. It plans to leverage this brand reputation in the video surveillance market.” According to the market researchers, Canon is a small player in the video surveillance market but it has big ambitions. In August 2013 its CEO, Fujio Mitarai, spoke about security cameras becoming an “important pillar” for the company and the market having “limitless possibilities for growth.” This acquisition shows that Canon is serious in its intentions.

When it comes to surveillance, Canon only sells security cameras. The acquisition of Milestone allows it to offer customers a security solution combining cameras and video management software or network video recorders. It also provides the company with access to Milestone’s large customer base, particularly in regions outside of Canon’s home market of Japan. IHS estimates that Milestone was the largest supplier of video management software in 2013 with over 7pc of a global market worth over $900 million.


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