Waukesha-based Kalmbach Media has acquired Brookfield-based Video Wisconsin in a deal that officially closed Feb. 15. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.
Kalmbach Media owns several brands that encompass magazines, digital content, books and related products. Video Wisconsin is a production company offering services including video production and editing, 2D and 3D animation, sound design, audio production, and more.
Kalmbach Media also recently acquired marketing agency Saturn Lounge, in November, which led to its current acquisition of Video Wisconsin.
“We purchased Saturn Lounge to help it grow and I think this acquisition is in line with that goal. We think it will accelerate Saturn’s growth as a business here in the Milwaukee area,” said Dan Hickey, chief executive officer of Kalmbach Media.
Saturn Lounge opened in 2002, focusing strictly on photography. Jim Kohlhardt, president of Saturn Lounge, said the agency expanded into video around 2010.
“When we created Saturn Lounge 20 years ago, I very quickly understood that Video Wisconsin was already established in that category in the Milwaukee area. We’ve just always been friendly competitors, I would say,” Kohlhardt said.
It was because of this friendliness that Kohlhardt said the owner and operator of Video Wisconsin reached out to him to bring up the desire to sell.
“They reached out to me around New Year’s and said, ‘Jim, we’d like you to buy Video Wisconsin. We’re ready to sell and we’ve always liked you and respect the work Saturn Lounge does.’ They just kind of had us in mind,” Kohlhardt said.
Kohlhardt said the combination of Saturn Lounge and Video Wisconsin makes sense because both entities specialize in different types of video production. Saturn Lounge has focused more on marketing videos and often does work on location. Video Wisconsin has a state-of-the-art studio and has often worked more with studios, focusing on live productions. Now, the full suite of Saturn Lounge’s marketing offerings has combined with Video Wisconsin’s capabilities.
“Consequently, it’s very complimentary and it really opens the door for us, not only to serve their clients, but to offer our clients more of that capability, to do those types of live productions,” Kohlhardt said.
Both facilities will remain open, and the Video Wisconsin name will remain for the time being.
“Essentially, Saturn Lounge will take over the business. It’s to be determined in terms of the Video Wisconsin brand. We just haven’t determined yet how the brands will interact,” Hickey said. “I think the best approach down the line would be that we integrate the Video Wisconsin business into Saturn Lounge and have one brand instead of two.”