15 Jul 2013

Cairellie Acquired by Norwest Productions

(Pictured: Cairellie chief Steve Knight)

It’s been the slowest dance in dating history. Rumored by CX in December, and vehemently denied at the time, the union has been bedded and the sheets washed. Now for the marriage, and it seems to hold promise.

Norwest Productions vie with JPJ Audio for the title of market leader in Australasian professional live audio, and by adding Sydney production house Cairellie they now stand ahead of their competition. Norwest Productions is a group of previously independent production houses that include New Zealand market leader Oceania and Melbourne’s McLean Audio Services. They operate in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, New Zealand and Perth.

Cairellie Pty Ltd is a sound, lighting and vision supplier that has over ten years grown fast and become capable at arena level. They occupy a large and efficient warehouse in Sydney’s North Rocks, into which Norwest Sydney will probably move from its nearby Silverwater location.

The acquisition of Cairellie (we don’t yet have the ‘official’ press release but it did happen last week) gives Norwest Sydney what its New Zealand arm Oceania have always had – multi discipline technical. Cairellie add vision systems into the mix, allowing Norwest to offer its clients a single turn key package in Sydney. The ‘one supplier’ model has famously worked incredibly well at Canada’s Solotech, a firm whose reach often extends into Australia via touring acts.

Between them Cairellie and Norwest do about $10 million worth of work in the Sydney market, and via the acquisition expect to do more. The analogy has been described as ‘adding fries’, since audio clients will now be offered lights and video as well.

Now for the denial in December, from Chris Kennedy, Chairman at Norwest who delightfully compares us with the Murdoch Press. Ironically Chris’s dad Buzz Kennedy was a newspaper columnist and media commentator – one of the best ever – for Murdoch.

(This) is misguided reporting of rumour and, as seems often the case with you, more directed at fomenting even more wild rumour than reporting the facts. Presumably the intention is to sell more magazines and boost online readership. However it does little to further the advancement of quality reporting and deserves to sit alongside the the efforts of the Murdoch phone hackers in the quality journalism stakes.

Julius, I suggest your New Year’s resolution should be to strive for quality reporting and detailed checking of the facts from primary, rather than secondary, sources so that you can produce something to be proud of. It is unfortunate reality that the facts often get in the way of a good story.

Pictured below: Graeme Whitehouse and Chris Kennedy from Norwest.

Graeme Whitehouse and Chris Kennedy from Norwest


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