ComQi Acquires JohnRyan, Creating Diverse Digital Retailing Powerhouse

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Companies to Continue Operating Independently and Serving Different Sectors While Leveraging Parent Company, Display Giant AU Optronics (Auo).

ComQi has acquired JohnRyan in a deal that sees both of the software and services companies broadening their knowledge and capabilities to serve client needs across an increasingly diverse and global retail marketplace.

ComQi, owned by display manufacturer AUO (TAIEX: 2409), will continue to focus its digital signage and interactive platform on mainstream retail, while subsidiary JohnRyan will continue to focus primarily on the financial services/retail banking sector it has serviced successfully for over 35 years.

Both companies will operate as separate entities under the AUO umbrella – supporting their own vertically-focused content management software platforms, as well as related capabilities and services. Both software platforms will continue under active development, with cross-pollination of technologies and insights anticipated between the two R&D teams.

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ComQi’s head office is located in New York City, while JohnRyan’s primary office is in Minneapolis, MN. Parent company AUO, located in Hsinchu, Taiwan, is one of the world’s largest display manufacturers, with $10B in annual sales and around 38,000 employees globally.

“Our acquisition of ComQi two years ago, and now with ComQi’s acquisition of JohnRyan, shows AUO’s commitment to providing a total end-to-end solution in the ‘field economy’ that can serve all aspects of retail and beyond,” says Paul SL Peng, Chairman and CEO of AUO. “We understand that a complete solution benefits from deep domain knowledge of the sector, along with a rich and thorough hardware, software and services offering. Together, our group has the right combination of people, insights, technology and services to deliver the best of class digital signage solution for smart retailing.

“We continue to look for M&A opportunities that will bring broader products and services to our clients,” says Andy Yang, Vice President of Strategic Investment and New Business Operations of AUO.

ComQi has deep, broad experience providing and supporting cloud-based shopper engagement technologies that influence consumers at all digital touch-points, including digital signage, mobile, video, touch, web, and social networks. Its client base includes some of the world’s best-known retail brands.

Stu Armstrong, Group President of ComQi, will lead sales for both companies. “Driving real business value to our customers, as they look to enhance the consumer experience in their stores, is the reason ComQi is resonating with retailers,” says Armstrong. “JohnRyan has been bringing that same high-value to the financial services industry for years, so our collective story is now even more compelling.”

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JohnRyan is known in the financial services and corporate communications sectors for its full-services agency approach, bolstered by a sophisticated, secure, bank-ready content management platform – called Quick Messenger – that’s been tuned and optimized to the unique, targeted communication needs of financial services firms, as well as other enterprise-level companies. The marketers who use JohnRyan technology benefit both from high-level views on programming and messaging priorities, and granular but near-automated control of targeting down to individual bank branch characteristics.

“Working side by side with our founder John Ryan for more than 30 years, we’ve realized the vision of creating a powerhouse agency that delivers full end-to-end solutions to the global financial services industry,” says Nancy Radermecher, President of JohnRyan. “Joining ComQi and AUO allows our company to take that vision to an even higher level. Just as Stu is seeing and hearing in mainstream retail, banks and related businesses are also looking for guidance and technology solutions that will re-energize their spaces and help them stay relevant.”

“We see very little overlap between the two operating companies,” says Ifti Ifhar, ComQi’s CEO. “We’ll see cross-pollination of ideas, shared domain intelligence, and access to intellectual property that can only benefit our collective customers. Without a doubt, this acquisition extends our reach and capabilities across the wide breadth of retail, and it also gives us, through JohnRyan, a stronger presence in Europe.”

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