Christie acquires Electrohome group

Digital projection systems co. bought for $25 mil

VANCOUVER — The fierce but unseen battle for supremacy in the projection booth has heated up with Christie Inc.’s $25 million cash purchase of Kitchener, Ontario-based Electrohome’s digital projection systems group.

Christie, a Cypress, Ca. manufacturer of mechanical projectors, will retain the Electrohome brand name and 200 Canuck employees in its bid to dominate the fast-evolving systems biz. Christie has about 150 employees.

At stake is the emerging billion dollar market for large-screen digital hardware, which will replace film projectors with computer-driven projectors using optical discs or images transferred via the internet or a direct fiber optical link.

About 8,000 mechanical units costing about $20,000 are currently sold to theaters worldwide, but the conversion market of 110,000 installed mechanical projection screens is up for grabs. Digital units cost about $100,000.

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