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Reborn VDC Group, Sony DADC partner to deliver enhanced services in the UK

Sony DADC has announced a partnership agreement with UK-based VDC Group. Under the agreement, Sony DADC and VDC Group customers in the UK will benefit from a range of enhanced offerings, covering end-to-end physical and digital supply chain services. "With Client Services functions seamlessly integrated into the Sony DADC supply chain, VDC Group will be able to continue servicing its UK customers across a range of sectors including the publishing and home entertainment markets," said Jesper Schertiger, Executive Vice President Sales & Marketing at Sony DADC International.

Founded in 1982, the Video Duplicating Company Ltd, known in the trade as VDC, emerged as a key independent player during the early years of CD and DVD production. The installation of a Singulus BLULINE II and CrystalLine mastering system in September 2010 made it the first company in the UK with in-house Blu-ray Disc mastering and replication facilities. It supplied all the major supermarkets as well as independent retailers. At its peak, VDC was producing and despatching over 250 million discs a year. However, this figure had fallen to less than 50 million in 2014.

Owing to a declining market, VDC Group went into administration in December of last year. Some 50 out of the 157 employees were transferred to a new company, VDC Trading, set up to act as brokers for Sony DADC. It is headed by Ashwin Bedi, with Mike Seaman as head of sales, positions both men occupied at VDC. "Like a phoenix rising from the ashes," as an industry observer put it, the VDC Group Trading Ltd, to use its full name, but called again VDC Group and using the same logo, has extended its partnership with Sony DADC over a wider range of services.

As for NtertainU, a new digital platform that enables publishers to bring out titles direct to the audience in both digital and physical formats, launched shortly before the original VDC company went into administration, is still active.

"We have been very careful in selecting our partner and we believe that Sony DADC is the perfect match for us as we move ahead into a very exciting period of VDC Group's development," explains Bedi. "The partnership's customer centric team will look to address the current and future needs of the UK home entertainment market."

For Sony DADC's Schertiger, "this is an important strategic partnership that will create a sustainable commercial platform for the UK home entertainment market. With this partnership we are looking to increase our joint presence through the provision of customer focused supply chain services across the entire media lifecycle."

Cinram is the other replicator left to service UK customers.

Story filed 21.07.15

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