Systems integrators and broadcast kit manufacturers TSL and IPE have agreed a merger.

The proposed deal, which is expected to complete by the end of the year, will see IPE’s IDS line of Integrated Display Systems added to TSL Products’ portfolio of broadcast equipment.

The companies will also combine their systems integration teams.

Once the deal is concluded IPE’s Colin Judge will become managing director of the combined systems integration company while Chris Exelby will head up the products company.

The product divisions will retain their brands but the firms have yet to decide on a name for the combined systems integration company.

The proposed merger follows a conversation between the companies at NAB about an OEM deal between their product divisions.

Chairman and co-founder of TSL David MacGregor said that both companies were of comparable age and had followed a similar trajectory having both launched product divisions at a similar time.

“Some people are probably surprised [the deal] didn’t happen while ago,” MacGregor said.

“Because we have known each other for so long the whole deal was sorted out very amicably and quickly. It was a deal waiting to happen.”

He also said it was too early to confirm how the deal might affect staffing numbers.

“In any move there is undoubtedly change, but the deal will benefit the majority. There is not a lot of overlap but there will undoubtedly be some changes.

“By sharing our knowledge and resources and by utilising our individually established practices and technology, together TSL and IPE can apply experience and skills to providing holistic solutions across the broadcast sector and other industries that is unmatched by any other independent provider.”

With TSL focusing on video installations and IPE concentrating on audio – especially comms and radio - the two companies have previously worked side-by-side on numerous projects together, including the build of facilities such as Red Bee’s Broadcast Centre in west London, Star TV in Hong Kong and Orbit in Rome.

Judge said the deal would provide customers of both companies with an “unequalled range of systems integration services”.

He said: “In the interim, both companies will continue to deliver their respective integration services, dedicated customer support and client focused solutions, for which they are both justifiably renowned.

“Our aim is to ensure that our merger only enhances the experience for current and future customers alike.”

Exelby added that the merger was a “perfect fit” for the product arms because there was no overlap between the two divisions.

He said: “The IDS range is perfectly aligned with our product development strategy and clearly adds value to the solutions we already provide for our target markets.”

IPE’s IDS is a network-based display and control system used by the likes of the BBC, Sky and BFBS.

TSL’s products such as its Soundfield mics and processors and monitoring tools predominantly serve the audio sector but its range of kit also includes the TallyMan control system.

Exelby said that with 75% of TSL’s products sold outside the UK the merger would help to sell the IDS platform to markets around the world.  

MacGregor also confirmed that TSL’s Studio Expert division, which it launched in June last year to target cost-conscious customers, had been shelved.

He said: “[The division] proved successful but the brand will disappear. Too many brands could confuse the market place, so the Studio Expert brand will disappear but that doesn’t mean we won’t continue to push into the non-broadcast market, because it is an areas that is expanding.”

MacGregor added that the recent departure of David Phillips from his role as managing director of TSL was “not related at all” to the proposed merger between TSL and IPE.