Today comes reports of Sound United, LLC — home to several legendary audio brands—Denon, Marantz, Bowers and Wilkins, Polk Audio, Classé, Definitive Technology, HEOS, and Boston Acoustics — to enter an acquisition agreement with Masimo Corporation.
I reached out internally to our Editor-in-chief, Marc Phillips for some making sense of today’s events, he had this to say: “According to BusinessWire, “Masimo is a leading global medical technology company that develops, manufactures, and markets a variety of noninvasive monitoring technologies for hospital and home settings.”
That sounds like an “unusual bedfellows” scenario, which is why the industry is buzzing today: “A global medical technology company now owns the largest hi-fi company in the world!” This acquisition has been introduced as a way to strengthen Sound United and their position in the marketplace, however, while giving Masimo greater access to consumers. Still, it feels like some of our hi-fi history is crumbling beneath our feet.”
My retort to Marc Phillips was as simple and reductive as I could make it: “No one ever got rich enough to buy a hi-fi conglomerate, from being a hi-fi conglomerate.”
Details of the deal can be found in the press release, enclosed below.
CARLSBAD, Calif. –Sound United, LLC (“Sound United”), a leading innovator of premium, high-performance audio products for consumers around the world, today announced that it has entered into a definitive agreement to be acquired by Masimo Corporation (Nasdaq: MASI) (“Masimo”). Masimo is a leading global medical technology company that develops, manufactures, and markets a variety of noninvasive monitoring technologies for hospital and home settings.
Sound United operates iconic consumer brands: Bowers & Wilkins, Denon, Polk Audio, Marantz, Definitive Technology, Classé, and Boston Acoustics. The brands are linked by a commitment to the highest production standards and a focus on unparalleled audio quality and performance. Sound United delivers significant competitive benefits through its platform advantages including global distribution across online, retail and custom installation channels; a cloud-connected home ecosystem; and state-of-the-art R&D function focused on creating the highest-quality consumer products with world-class industrial design.
I have long been a fan (and proud owner) of Sound United’s iconic brands and am honored to steward them through the next generation of technological evolution,” Masimo Founder, Chair & CEO Joe Kiani commented. “Masimo shares Sound United’s commitment to providing innovative, best-in-class products and experiences, with a relentless focus on improving the consumer experience.”
A combined Masimo and Sound United will create stronger relationships with consumers and seamlessly deliver high-quality consumer products. The company will leverage Sound United’s expertise across consumer channels to accelerate distribution of Masimo’s expanding portfolio of consumer products. The resulting company will benefit from a world-class professional and consumer engineering function focused on products that make an impact on the lives of our consumers.
“We’re excited about this transaction and see significant potential in combining our expertise in consumer electronics and audio engineering with Masimo’s strengths in healthcare and monitoring,” said Kevin Duffy, CEO of Sound United. “With our track record of industry-first innovation, best-in-class products, and a global distribution network, we are the ideal partner for Masimo to transform the consumer healthcare experience. I look forward to working with the Masimo team to enrich the lives of consumers.”
The transaction is expected to close near the middle of 2022, subject to the receipt of regulatory approvals and other customary closing conditions.
Post-closing, Kevin Duffy will continue to lead Sound United, reporting directly to Masimo Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Joe Kiani.
Sound United is a portfolio company of Boston-based private equity firm Charlesbank Capital Partners, LLC. Citigroup acted as financial advisor to Masimo and Paul Hastings LLP served as legal counsel. Evercore served as lead financial advisor to Sound United. Stifel and Solomon Partners also provided financial advice to Sound United, and Goodwin Procter LLP served as legal counsel.
About Sound United
Sound United was founded in 2012 with a simple mission – to bring joy to the world through sound. Today, we are one of the world’s largest portfolio audio companies and home to several legendary audio brands—Denon®, Marantz®, Bowers and Wilkins, Polk Audio, Classé, Definitive Technology, HEOS, and Boston Acoustics®. Each brand boasts its own philosophy and unique approach to bringing home entertainment to life.
With centuries of collective experience, Sound United oversees the design and manufacture of a diverse array of premium audio products, including loudspeakers, sound bars, AV receivers, wireless speakers, amplifiers, turntables, and headphones. We create distinct and memorable listening experiences for a wide range of consumers in more than 130 countries. For more information on Sound United and our mission, please visit www.soundunited.com
Tel: +1 213 221 9369 Joshua.Sy@soundunited.com
Max Borges Agency
Tel: +1 305 299 3449 Jessicadarrican@maxborgesagency.com