Sound United LLC, the parent company to Denon, Polk Audio, Marantz, Definitive Technology, Classé, and Boston Acoustics, has today announced that it has finalized the acquisition of Bowers & Wilkins, the leading British-based designer and manufacturer of luxury home audio speakers, headphones, custom installation products, wireless speakers, and branded audio systems in the automotive and television markets. I originally reported on the possible acquisition back in June and news has just come through that the deal has been concluded.
“Acquiring Bowers & Wilkins combines its industry-leading acoustic design, engineering and manufacturing expertise in the premium category with Sound United’s scale, technical acumen and consumer reach to ensure Bowers & Wilkins thrives moving forward,” said Kevin Duffy, CEO at Sound United. “Sound United has a strong track record of enthusiastically protecting each of its brands’ unique identities and core competencies, and our approach with Bowers & Wilkins will be no different. In fact, we believe the entire portfolio stands to benefit from the addition of Bowers & Wilkins, which in turn translates into exciting new products, technologies and opportunities for our consumers, distributors, dealers, and all audio enthusiasts around the world.”
Geoff Edwards will ensure continuity by becoming President of the Bowers & Wilkins brand at Sound United. The acquisition includes all worldwide third-party distribution and licensing agreements under which Bowers & Wilkins premium audio products are currently sold.
Sound United claims that investing in additional brands enables it to better innovate across product categories, feature sets, technology partners, and consumer segments. As part of the acquisition, Sound United will support the development of new Bowers & Wilkins products to support the brand’s position in the premium acoustic home audio market.
“This acquisition represents a new era for Bowers & Wilkins and offers a fresh opportunity to focus on what we do best: building the industry’s finest loudspeakers,” said Geoff Edwards, CEO of Bowers & Wilkins. “We’re looking forward to combining our organisations and becoming a part of the industry’s strongest portfolio of premium audio brands.”
Sound United is a portfolio company of Boston-based private equity firm Charlesbank Capital Partners, LLC. Houlihan Lokey served as the exclusive financial advisor to Bowers & Wilkins.