LabNotes: Sound United Acquires D+M Group

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Today, Sound United (Polk Audio, Definitive Technology, and Polk Boom) announced that it has acquired D+M Group, owner of HEOS by Denon, Marantz, and Boston Acoustics. Their news release is included at the bottom of this post, and covers all details of the acquisition.

What you’re probably wondering is, “How will this affect the consumer?” To summarize, the combination of the two companies will offer several benefits as research and development moves forward under a larger umbrella. The combined company will include some of the most legendary, well-known brands in home audio, and now those brands will have the opportunity to work together. Simply put, Sound United will be able to offer a larger range of products under each brand, and improve on value, performance, and compatibility between brands. We are likely to see new technologies emerge and develop across Sound United’s brands. The synergy of the two companies is likely to strengthen all brands involved.

Overall, the scope of the announcement appears quite positive. We can expect that the combined efforts of these home audio powerhouses will bring innovation to upcoming product lines from all brands involved. Read all about the merger at www.soundunited.com, or see Sound United’s comments below.

Sound United’s Announcement:
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.

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