XRite Makes Key Acquisitions


    GRANDVILLE — X-Rite Inc. has taken a couple more steps toward strengthening its core color business with the recent acquisition of proprietary software technology assets of two North American companies.

    X-Rite purchased visualization software from ForeSite Software of East Hartford, Conn. The software was already integrated in X-Rite’s Home Visualizer, a product that enables retail paint outlets to help customers visualize paint colors in their homes prior to purchasing paint.

    Home Visualizer is a component of X-Rite’s ColorDesigner software application that the company markets to retail paint customers. It’s one of many color management solutions X-Rite provides in the form of hardware, software and services that ensure color accuracy and communicate color data.

    ForeSite wasn’t the only company in the marketplace with the technology, but it had exactly the technology X-Rite was looking for to integrate into its ColorDesigner software product, said X-Rite spokesman Tyler Andrew. The company had worked with ForeSite for the past two years on the technology featured in its ColorDesigner software.

    “As a client, we had input in the development of the technology and we passed along any feedback we received from our customers,” Andrew said. “So we had a good relationship with this company prior to acquiring the software.”

    X-Rite may further develop and customize the software into a product that serves original equipment manufacturers, which comprise about 90 percent of X-Rite’s customer base.

    “We’re still in the process of evaluating that right now,” Andrew said. “We have a lot of relationships with OEM customers, so we’re taking this technology to them to see if there’s any interest there, but nothing has been determined at this point.”

    In addition to the ForeSite purchase, X-Rite acquired software code of ICC Tools, a division of PrintWest of Saskatchewan, Canada. A key ICC software developer moved over to X-Rite as part of the deal.

    The software code is already used in two of X-Rite’s color management software products for the graphic arts market, which Andrew said makes up 45 percent of X-Rite’s total business. He said the software developer will work on incorporating his software code into future X-Rite products for that market.

    Both acquisitions were made in cash, with a collective purchase price of under $500,000, according to X-Rite. Both are of equal significance to the company’s future growth, Andrew said.

    With the acquisitions, X-Rite now has exclusive rights to both technologies.

    “Both acquisitions reflect our aggressive (merger and acquisition) strategy to find complementary technology that adds significant value to our current and future color business innovations,” said James Weaver, X-Rite’s vice president of marketing and product development.

    “Additionally, these acquisitions are critical to driving customer relationships, especially our OEM partners.”

    In addition to graphic arts, X-Rite’s global customer base includes markets such as printing and packaging, manufacturing, photography, retail color matching, industrial color and appearance, and the dental and medical industries.

    X-Rite has sales and service offices covering 80 countries. Its products and services generated revenues of $126.2 million in fiscal 2004.    

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