What Does the Dolby-Doremi Deal Mean?

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Wed, 11/05/2014 - 09:16 -- Nick Dager

Doug Darrow, Dolby senior vice president, cinemaAs was widely reported earlier this week, Dolby Laboratories has completed its acquisition of Doremi Labs. According to the announcement, the deal advances Dolby's mission to improve the cinema experience, enable new forms of storytelling, and accelerate the delivery and deployment of innovative solutions to exhibitors. I spoke exclusively with Doug Darrow, Dolby’s senior vice president, cinema, to better understand what this deal means.

Digital Cinema Report: What is the status of Dolby’s proposed acquisition of Doremi?

Doug Darrow: Dolby received approval from U.S. and European regulators to complete its acquisition of Doremi, a company known for leadership in digital cinema servers. The acquisition closed on October 31, 2014.  The combined company hopes to accelerate innovation and deliver better cinema experiences more quickly to movie audiences worldwide.

DCR: Now that Dolby has acquired Doremi, what, if any, Doremi products will be discontinued?

DD: We plan to transition products and materials with the Doremi brand to the Dolby brand in phases. New products and marketing materials will feature the Dolby brand. Existing Doremi marketing materials will be used up, and branding of Doremi products will change based on inventory levels with a goal of enacting a complete brand transition by next year. Our future plan is to create a deeply integrated audio-video playback system, which delivers a higher quality entertainment experience while significantly lowering total equipment, operating and maintenance costs. Our goal is to simplify theatrical exhibition (including audio and video playback solutions) while improving functionality and reducing overall cost. We will provide an update on product plans and roadmap in the near future, once we’ve completed the initial phase of integration with Doremi.

DCR: How does Doremi’s existing technology mesh with what Dolby now offers its customers?

DD: The combination of the Dolby and Doremi teams secures our position as the leading cinema equipment supplier with an extensive product offering for the cinema exhibition industry. Dolby and Doremi leaders have been working together for months to determine how to best integrate our organizations and technologies. Now that the deal is complete, it’s time to execute as one team.

DCR:  What impact will the acquisition have for Doremi executives and employees? For Dolby executives and employees?

DD: Doremi and Dolby both have highly-respected leaders and teams. Our intention is to leverage the leadership and talent from both organizations to realize the benefits of this deal.  Camille Rizko (founder and president of Doremi) will report to me and continue to oversee cinema server product development and operations at Dolby.

DCR: Will Dolby maintain the Doremi brand name?

DD: Doremi the company will become integrated into Dolby, taking the Dolby name.

DCR: Will the Doremi team be moved to Dolby offices?

DD: The Doremi teams will continue to reside in their current locations in Burbank, France and remote locations for the time being.

DCR: After the acquisition will customers still be able to buy Doremi products?

DD: No products are being immediately discontinued as a result of the acquisition.  Details of adjustments to product offerings will be communicated as appropriate. 

DCR: After the acquisition, who will service and support Doremi products?

DD: We will continue to support existing customers and products while we integrate the best of both companies’ technologies. We will ensure that customers of both companies will have the support and commitment they have come to expect from a leading supplier in the exhibition industry, including Dolby’s 24x7 customer service and support.

DCR: Is Dolby planning any further acquisitions?

DD: It is our policy not to speculate on potential mergers and acquisition opportunities.

DCR: If people have any additional questions who can they can contact for answers?

DD: Should customers or partners have any questions regarding Dolby or Doremi products please continue to contact your current Dolby or Doremi sales person or alternatively contact [email protected].