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AFG takes controlling share in Purple Group

Netherlands PA/lighting giant takes strategic interest in neighbour.

Utrecht-based sales and rental giant Ampco Flashlight Group, a turnkey supplier of equipment for the entertainment industry for over 35 years, has taken a “strategic interest” in the Purple Group, a smaller Dutch operation based 66km to the south with much experience in dance music events. Terms of the deal were not disclosed, though Marcel Albers, director of communications and marketing for Ampco Flashlight Holding BV, told PSNEurope it was a “controlling share”.

Consolidation by strategic alliance or acquisition has been a common theme within the entertainment equipment supply industry, so it comes as no surprise that AFG is expanding by applying a similar tactic. As Albers puts it: “This participation is in line with market developments and fits perfectly within the current view of the Ampco Flashlight Group as a leading service company within the live entertainment industry: from one’s own strength it is working closely together with its fellow ‘full service’ businesses.

“As a result, the cooperation supports the great demand for tailor-made solutions from the broadcast, theatre, live and corporate event market.”

In fact, says Albers, “We see that customers are asking, more and more, for a full service [approach]; they are not so interested in ‘the audio equipment’.”

Purple Group – already part of Ampco’s ‘Synco Network’ since 2005 – has been in operation for around 25 years and holds a large inventory of L-Acoustics systems, including K1.

Dick van Berkum, CEO of Ampco Flashlight Group (pictured), says: “The Purple Group has a strong presence in the field of electronic dance music (EDM) and festivals. Additionally, it is a major player in sound and light for Dutch artists. We are proud that our healthy financial basis makes this participation possible and we look forward to the future with great confidence.”

Harry Zinken en Robert de Loey, directors at Purple Group add: “Both companies are no strangers to each other. During the greater part of our existence, we have been working together regularly and the culture of both companies complements each other very well. A strong partner like the Ampco Flashlight Group [enables] us to expand our services further into the future.”

The Purple Group will remain the same at its Schijndel-based HQ. Ampco says that at this stage, “no changes will be made to its procedures, staffing and management team”.