By Matt Pruznick, TWICE Magazine
Last month Almo Corp. formally finalized its acquisition of International Audio Visual Inc. (IAVI) and began the process of integrating it into its Professional Audio/Visual unit.
The move arguably made Almo Pro A/V the largest privately held commercial A/V distributor in the industry, and a sizzling-hot division within its now $1.2 billion global parent.
Ultimately, IAVI, which maintains a significant footprint in Latin America in addition to its U.S. presence, and Almo Pro A/V, will become one unit going forward, explained Sam Taylor, executive VP and COO of Almo’s commercial operation.
“We’ve received an extremely positive response about the acquisition from the A/V community,” Taylor said.
Indeed, the addition of the Fort Lauderdale, Florida-based business, founded 20 years ago by Wade Gilbert, has doubled Almo’s pro-channel sales force, brought potential new vendors on board, and increased the customer pool for both businesses, Almo president/CEO Warren Chaiken said.
The merger, he noted will “give thousands of resellers and integrators access to top-quality distribution while making Almo Pro A/V a highly competitive global distributor.”
But growth opportunities alone did not clinch the deal. According to Chaiken, “Taking care of our employees, partners, and manufacturers has almost been first,” so it was important to Almo management that both companies share a similar corporate culture that invests in people and relationships.
To that end, Almo Pro A/V has retained over 60 former IAVI employees as part of the go-forward business plan, “all of whom will stay in their respective locations and conduct business under the Almo name,” Taylor noted.
“These factors will greatly expand our capabilities and reach while increasing our ability to provide the industry with the best distribution service, products, and integration support available.”
Chaiken added that the acquisition won’t just be a one-way street in terms of business operations, as Almo has been analyzing best-practice standing between the companies to decide what’s best for its total customer base.
So what’s the next move for the industry’s largest privately held commercial A/V distributor?
“I think right now, our focus is that we want to make this integration as smooth as possible for our new employees, as well as for our customers, Chaiken said. “And that’s our goal for the foreseeable future. Almo is a very opportunistic company, and if there are other opportunities that present themselves, we’ll look at them.”