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Milestone CEO: Acquisition by Canon to make company stronger

At this year's Milestone Integration Platform Symposium (MIPS), The CEO of Milestone Systems shared how Milestone arrived at the decision that partnering with Canon would result in a better outcome than going public.

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Speaking before a packed auditorium at the 10th annual Milestone Integration Platform Symposium (MIPS) in Las Vegas on Tuesday, Milestone Systems President and CEO Lars Thinggaard said that Canon’s acquisition of the company last summer would only serve to strengthen the open platform video management software firm by opening up a wealth of resources that they can tap into moving forward.

Although he couldn’t share insights about the initial public offering (IPO) that Milestone had been planning prior to Canon’s purchase of the company last year, Thinggaard on Tuesday did discuss their thought process and how they arrived at the decision that partnering with Canon would result in a better outcome than going public.


Thinggaard said that the company was, in fact, determined to go public but that there were some poignant questions raised by Canon Europe CEO Rokus van Iperen when discussions first began between the companies last April, which had to be taken into serious consideration. He said that Milestone had been planning how to achieve long-term, sustainable and profitable growth, as well as further invest in building out their ecosystem.

When asked by van Iperen why they really wanted to go with an IPO, Thinggaard said that there was silence on his end of the phone other than to say that “the train had, more or less, left the station.” However, when the management team and board of directors sat down to weigh their options; they had to determine whether or not they wanted to go it alone or whether they wanted a partner.

“During that period of thinking about the future of this company, we questioned whether or not we were doing the right thing here. Two things were paramount for succeeding in making an acquisition: First and foremost, preserving the ecosystem in conjunction with a camera company and secondly, to protect the open platform,” said Thinggaard. “These were two pivotal and basic principles that we wanted to apply to the way the structure of an acquisition would look. As we learned Canon’s vision for the future, we got to understand that that was a possibility for us.”

Perhaps most importantly, Thinggaard said that Milestone will remain a stand-alone company and that its’ open platform will remain unchanged. He drew an analogy between Google’s acquisition of Android where the openness of the smartphone operating system was maintained and how Milestone will remain an open VMS for the surveillance industry under Canon.

“Canon understands the open platform and remember the prerequisites of the deal – preserve the open platform- and the way that we are working with Canon is as a stand-alone company,” added Thinggaard. “We have built Milestone to be the top global VMS for the last six years. With Canon we get fast access to resources to build the greatest position of strength.”

Read the full article about Milestone Systems. 

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