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 toPolk Audio,Definitive Technology, andPolk BOOM,today announced it has completed the acquisition of the D+M Group, owner of theDenon,HEOS by Denon,Marantz, andBoston Acousticsbrands. 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 inNorth Americaand 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 onFebruary 28, 2017and 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 CEOJim 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 ofBoston-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,” saidRyan 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 Procteracted as legal counsel to Sound United, andDavis Polk& Wardwell acted as legal counsel to D+M Holdings. For more information on Sound United, please visitwww.soundunited.com. To learn more about the D+M Group, visitwww.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 inBostonandNew York, Charlesbank Capital Partners is a middle-market private equity investment firm managing more than$3.5 billionof 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 visitwww.charlesbank.com