Wireless Ronin To Merge With New York Firm

Wireless Ronin To Merge With New York Firm

Minnetonka-based Wireless Ronin Technologies, Inc., said it would merge with Creative Realities and sell about 59 percent of its shares to the owner of the fellow marketing technology firm.

Wireless Ronin Technologies, Inc., one of Minnesota’s 100 largest public companies, announced Thursday that it will be sold in a stock deal and will merge with New York-based Creative Realities.

The Minnetonka-based digital marketing technology firm, whose services include digital signage, said that Creative Realities will merge into a subsidiary of Wireless Ronin and that Creative Realities’ owner (an affiliate of Pegasus Capital Advisors) will receive 58.5 percent of the Minnesota company’s outstanding shares.

Shares of Ronin’s stock, which appear on an “over-the-counter” market, were trading up about 3 percent at $0.72 per share Thursday afternoon, although that price is down more than 25 percent from a week ago.

As of March 1, Wireless Ronin employed 43 full-time staff and four full-time contractors, according to regulatory filings. Of those, 27 work out of the company's Minnetonka headquarters, and the remainder work at an office in Ontario, Canada. The company's revenue totaled about $7 million in its most recent fiscal year.

Thursday calls to Wireless Ronin to inquire whether the deal will affect its Minnetonka headquarters and employees were not immediately returned.

Creative Realities, which is also a marketing technology firm, will bring many well-known clients with it in the merger, including Adidas, Aramark, Chrysler, KFC, Calvin Klein, Macy’s, Rite Aid, and Nestle.
 
The board of directors of both companies have approved the merger, which is expected to close in July. The combined company’s board will have five members—three chosen by Creative Realities and two chosen by Wireless Ronin.
 
“The union of Creative Realities and Wireless Ronin will further strengthen our technology platform and together, we will be more equipped to help our customers drive the in-store engagement, with the end goal being, increased sales,” Creative Realities CEO Paul Price said in a statement. “Furthermore, we believe that by combining our resources, we will be the only company capable of helping clients go from the planning and design phase to deployment and ongoing maintenance of the marketing technology experience, all sourced from under one roof.”
 
After the merger, Price will become CEO of the combined company and Wireless Ronin’s current CEO, Scott Koller, will become president. 
 
“This merger brings together two industry leaders with highly complementary technology, talent and customers. Our creative services team, coupled with our content management platform, has helped many of the largest marketers maximize their top and bottom lines,” Koller said in a statement. “When I look at the synergies between our offerings and those from Creative Realities, I am excited with the powerful combination.”
 
The merger remains subject to closing conditions, one of which is the completion of Wireless Ronin’s pending merger with Utah-based digital media firm Broadcast International, which it announced in March.
 
Read a 2010 Twin Cities Business profile of Wireless Ronin here.