BENELUX: The Belgium-based sales companies became fully independent of the Ampco Flashlight Group as of January 1, reports David Davies. The move follows the decision by long-term Ampco Flashlight prime mover Karel de Piere (pictured) to acquire the ownership of two Group companies: Ampco Belgium and Candela.
De Piere has sold his shares in Ampco Flashlight and left the Group after a 17-year involvement. He will now serve as MD of Ampco Belgium and Candela, which will focus exclusively on professional audio and lighting sales; the newly independent companies will not operate in the rental market.
Co-operation between Ampco Belgium and Candela and the Ampco Flashlight Group will continue as before, with all arrangements between them remaining in place "to serve the best interests of clients, manufacturers and both parties."
Karel de Piere tells PSN-e: "This decision has to be placed in the context of a more long-term vision. It is my opinion that the currently applied distribution models were ready for a re-design. My choice to make the Belgian sales companies independent is necessary to be able to implement my future plans in sales. The coming year will make this move more clear, and we will keep you informed!"
Asked to nominate some of the highlights of his long tenure with Ampco Flashlight, de Piere cites Belgian launch sessions for the Midas XL3, the introduction of the technology division, and a string of memorable social events. "Those who were there will remember - or are still hoping the pictures stay hidden_like the AES party at the Melkweg in Amsterdam or the boat party in Antwerp. The next one is already planned this summer in Boom for the launch of my new sales project!" he reveals.
Dick van Berkum, chairman and CEO of the Ampco Flashlight Group, added: "We are sorry to see Karel leaving our group as he has made a large contribution to the growth of Ampco Flashlight over the past 17 years. Since he knows Ampco Belgium and Candela so well, we are confident he is the right man for the future of these companies, their clients and manufacturers. We wish Karel all the best with the further development of these businesses."
The Ampco Flashlight Group's audio, lighting and video sales activities will continue to be developed in Europe through TM Audio, Lightco and Pixelsource in the Netherlands, Paradigma in Romania and Atlantic Audio in Germany. The Group will also continue to grow its audio, lighting and rigging rental production and technology companies across Europe, led by Ampco and Flashlight in the Netherlands, Flashlight/APR in Belgium and Paradigma in Romania.