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Screen Research in Receivership in France

Screen Research has been placed in receivership by the Tribunal de Commerce de Nantes in France. The company has an observation period of six months to restore its activity according to French receivership rules and confirmed by North American director of business development, Mike Barber.

The high-end projection screens company, which was founded in 2003 and currently has 23 employees, is distributed in 50 countries. It’s most known for its ClearPix acoustically transparent THX- and ISF-certified screens.

Screen Research’s Supreme 2 motorized screen

CEO Yves Trélohan, who was in attendance at CEDIA EXPO last month in Atlanta, Georgia, made this statement to a French media outlet: “We’ve [experienced] strong growth through 2007. We then felt the effects of global crisis. In 2008 our turnover was 2.3 million. This year it is down 15 percent, mainly due to the downturn in the U.S. market.”

The company exports 90 percent of its product and has a North American sales and marketing division.

Trélohan also stated that the Asian market is improving and that the European market is stable. He said that he hopes his company will recover within a year. “We have advantages: a very good brand, a distribution network in 50 countries, and two new patents issued this summer, one in Europe and one in the U.S., to protect our innovations,” Trélohan stated.

Although French receivership rules emphasize employment over cutbacks, Trélohan also stated that he needed to reduce his workforce to less than 20 people.

The company’s North American subsidiary employs only four people, led by Barber, who only joined the company on June 1 of this year. When contacted by Residential Systems, Barber called the receivership filing “a preventative measure more than anything else.”

He said that he believes the company will be able to do what’s necessary to meet the benchmarks set by receivership rules in France and remain in business.

“Right now we’re tracking well with those guidelines,” he said. “Over the past three months we’re ahead of last year’s performance, and CEDIA was a really positive show for us having introduced new fabrics and frames at new price points.”

Screen Research also added three new rep firms (Advanced Territory Management, Clarity Marketing A/V Solutions, and Elite Marketing), which Barber is hoping will help the company gain better traction in North America.

Screen Research’s North American operations recently relocated to a Hiram, Georgia, facility, which houses sales, marketing, and technical support.