Industry News

Sound United Acquires D+M; Control 4 Acquires Triad

Sound United Announces Acquisition of D+M Group

[Who are the heavy hitters in the audio biz today? It could be argued that they’re the PE groups—private equity. We’ve seen McIntosh move from Quadrivio to a consortium of French PE groups, and here we see the companies of D+M—owned by Bain Capital, Mitt Romney’s old company—being bought by Charlesbank Capital Partners to become part of their Sound United group. Oddly, both Bain and Charlesbank are based in Boston, once the major incubator of American audio companies.—Ed.]

VISTA, Calif., March 1, 2017 — Sound United LLC, parent company to Polk Audio, Definitive Technology, and Polk BOOM, today announced it has completed the acquisition of the D+M Group, owner of the Denon, HEOS by Denon, Marantz, and Boston Acoustics brands. The D+M Group is the largest supplier of audio/video receivers worldwide and a leader in wireless multi-room audio. Sound United is the largest supplier of loudspeakers in North America and a leading supplier of sound bars and wireless music systems. The combined company will be known as Sound United, which will own and operate some of the most prestigious brands in the consumer audio space, providing synergy opportunities for the existing core businesses, while also unlocking the potential to expand the product portfolio and market reach. The sale was finalized on February 28, 2017 and the terms of the sale were not disclosed.

Kevin Duffy, CEO of Sound United, will serve as CEO of the combined company moving forward. “Sound United and the D+M Group employees share a culture of innovation and customer focus. We plan to leverage those core values in the combined company in order to offer consumers and our channel partners a breadth of complementary products while expanding our investments in technology development and marketing,” said Duffy. “We welcome the addition of the D+M team and are excited to work together to ensure that this strategic combination capitalizes on its global leadership position while also ensuring that each of our individual brands continues to be highly differentiated in the marketplace. Our existing customers and channel partners will benefit from the enhanced breadth and depth of the combined product portfolio, while our strategic suppliers should be well-positioned to expand with us as we grow.”

D+M Group CEO Jim Caudill, who will continue as an advisor to the consolidated company, added, “This transaction is a testament to D+M Group’s employees and exceptional brands and all that we’ve accomplished in the audio industry. By joining Sound United, we expect to deliver tremendous value to our customers through access to Sound United’s aspirational speaker brands including Polk Audio and Definitive Technology. We believe that this transaction will drive compelling opportunities for our employees, customers, and suppliers, and are looking forward to ensuring the success of the new organization.”

Sound United is a division of DEI Holdings, a portfolio company of Boston-based private equity firm Charlesbank Capital Partners, LLC.  Charlesbank acquired DEI Holdings in 2011. “We are delighted to support the expansion of Sound United and to help bring together two leading companies in their respective categories,” said Ryan Carroll, a Charlesbank Managing Director. “We look forward to a successful integration building on the cultural similarities, talent, and best practices of these two companies and to a stronger future as one entity.”

Pagemill Partners, a division of Duff & Phelps, acted as financial advisor to D+M Holdings. Goodwin Procter acted as legal counsel to Sound United, and Davis Polk & Wardwell acted as legal counsel to D+M Holdings. For more information on Sound United, please visit www.soundunited.com. To learn more about the D+M Group, visit www.dmglobal.com/home.

About Sound United  Sound United, a division of DEI Holdings, curates a diverse portfolio of audio brands including Polk Audio, an audio brand with more than 40 years of pioneering high-quality personal audio; Definitive Technology, a 25-year veteran in the high-end experience home audio space; and Polk BOOM, a portable audio brand targeting the youthful action-sports oriented consumer. To learn more about Sound United and its brands, visit www.soundunited.com.

About D+M Group  D+M Group is a global company dedicated to enhancing life through inspired sound solutions delivered anytime, anywhere. With a strong belief that “Performance is everything,” D+M is focused on innovation to meet the needs of customers in an increasingly digital world. Serving the consumer markets, D+M Group brands include Boston Acoustics®, Denon®, and Marantz®. D+M Group has approximately 900 employees worldwide, with products and services marketed in more than 45 countries.

All product and brand names with a trademark symbol are trademarks or registered trademarks of D+M Holdings, Inc. or its subsidiaries, except Bluetooth which is a registered trademark of Bluetooth SIG, Inc.; Auro-3D which is a registered trademark of Auro Technologies NV; AirPlay which is a registered trademark of Apple Inc.; Dolby Atmos which is a registered trademark of Dolby Laboratories, Inc; and DTS:X which is a trademark of DTS, Inc.

About Charlesbank Capital Partner Based in Boston and New York, Charlesbank Capital Partners is a middle-market private equity investment firm managing more than $3.5 billion of capital. Charlesbank focuses on management-led buyouts and growth capital financings, generally investing in companies with enterprise values of $150 million to $1 billion, and also engages in opportunistic credit investments. The firm seeks to partner with strong management teams to build companies with sustainable competitive advantage and excellent prospects for growth. For more information, please visit www.charlesbank.com

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Control4 Acquires Triad Speakers, a Pioneer in High-End Audio Technology and Speaker Design

[To those who focus only upon our little audiophile world, these names may be unfamiliar—but this is a big freakin’ deal. Control4 is a smart house/home automation company with around 5,000 dealers. Triad is a speaker brand well known to customer installers and home integrators, and has about 500 dealers. Given the rise of Sonos, Alexa, and other multi-room solutions in audio, more companies will be moving into that market. This seems like a logical, smart match to me, FWIW. —Ed.]

SALT LAKE CITY, February 28, 2017—-(BUSINESS WIRE)–Control4 Corporation (NASDAQ: CTRL), a leading global provider of smart home solutions, today announced the acquisition of Triad Speakers, Inc., a leader in advanced audio technology with best-in-class, customizable speaker-solutions.

“Entertainment is integral to the connected home and our Control4 dealers are designing end-to-end experiences for family room entertainment, home theaters, and indoor and outdoor multi-room music for their customers,” said Martin Plaehn, Control4 Chairman and CEO. “The acquisition of Triad brings proven premium-acoustics experience and innovation to our company, enabling us to immediately deepen our entertainment offering and develop new integrated-audio experiences for the future.”

Triad’s 30-year heritage of delivering exceptional audio solutions is rooted in its unwavering attention to audio design and detail, its uncompromising focus on the quality of the listening experience, and the specialty customization of its products. Triad manufactures a comprehensive range of high-quality, built-to-order premium audio speakers to meet the discerning demands of homeowners – for home theaters, family rooms, whole-home or multi-room audio, as well as for outdoor environments. The company’s focus on elegant design integration has been delivering customized audio experiences that feature beautiful sound while enhancing a home’s décor. The acquisition of Triad is a strategic addition to the Control4 entertainment portfolio, which includes the fully programmable Control4® EA-series controllers with native high-resolution streaming music services, its family of multi-room audio matrix switches and amplifiers, and its family of ultra-HD 4K video matrix switches with audio down-mixing capabilities.

“At Triad, high-quality audio, custom design, and seamless integration have been the standards that we will continue delivering to our dealers and their end customers,” said Larry Pexton, founder and CEO of Triad. “Becoming part of the Control4 family enables us to expose our engineering expertise to those homeowners in the broader market of home automation and entertainment who are passionate about their listening experience.”

Effective immediately, all Triad dealers in North America are now able – for the first time – to place their product orders and customization requests via a brand new online dealer portal. Control4 and Pakedge dealers may also order Triad solutions online, starting today. In the coming weeks, the Triad dealer portal will also include technical training information and additional marketing resources.

Nearly the entire Triad team will be joining Control4, including founder Larry Pexton, as well as the Triad’s R&D, manufacturing, and custom-services employees, all of whom will continue operating from Triad’s existing facility in Portland, Oregon.

Total consideration for the acquisition of Triad consisted of $9.6 million in cash. Triad generated approximately $9 million in revenue in 2016. Control4 plans to invest in the operations of the business during 2017 in order to push adoption of these products through its larger sales channels. As a result, Control4 anticipates that the acquisition will be net income neutral in 2017, after adjusting for acquisition related expenses. Control4 will provide guidance for the second quarter and update its annual guidance to include the operations of Triad at its next earnings call.

About Control4 [NASDAQ: CTRL] is a leading global provider of automation and networking systems for homes and businesses, offering personalized control of lighting, music, video, comfort, security, communications, and more into a unified smart-home system that enhances the daily lives of its consumers. Control4 unlocks the potential of connected devices, making networks more robust, entertainment systems easier to use, homes more comfortable and energy efficient, and families more secure. Today, every home and business needs automation horsepower and a high-performance network to manage the increasing number of connected devices. The Control4 platform interoperates with more than 10,000 third-party consumer electronics products, ensuring that an ever-expanding ecosystem of devices will work together. Leveraging a distribution channel that includes over 3,900 custom integrators, retailers, and distributors in 91 countries that are authorized to sell the full-line of Control4 products, with over 1,100 additional dealers and distributors that are authorized to sell our Pakedge-branded networking solutions only, Control4 is delivering intelligent solutions for consumers, major consumer electronics companies, hotels, and businesses around the world.

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