Mergers and acquisitions. They happen all the damn time in this industry, so it’s typically not that surprising when we see a release come across our desks telling us about company A purchasing company B. It is surprising, though, when company A and company B are two of the biggest names in their respective segments of the tech market—and we were treated to two massive announcements within the past seven days.
We’ll start with Control4 and SnapAV. In a statement, the two entities called the merger a combination of two “highly complementary” companies that will be able to leverage their increased resources to provide a “true one-stop shop” for integrators. The combined Control4-SnapAV brand will have a complete portfolio of smart home, control, and automation solutions that’s going to be tough to rival. The way it’s spelled out, SnapAV will acquire Control4 in an all-cash transaction valued at around $680 million. Control4’s board of directors has already unanimously approved the deal and recommended that stockholders vote in favor of the transaction, which is expected to close during the second half of this year—around CEDIA time perhaps? The purchase price, according to the statement, represents a premium of around 40 percent over Control4’s closing price on May 8, 2019, the last trading day prior to this announcement.
The new combined company will be made up of some 1,200 employees that will be led by John Heyman, CEO of SnapAV, and an executive team made up of leaders from both SnapAV and Control4. Control4 CEO Martin Pleahn will join the Board of Directors of the combined company.
The benefits of the acquisition-slash-merger are pretty clear to us—you’ve got a whole lot of money and a whole lot of brainpower that just got together and can set their sights on dominating the entire smart home market for the technology integrator. But on the other hand, the merger begs the question, is SnapAV now too big? It’ll be up to that management team—and their roster of dealers—to keep them honest.
On to Sound United and Onkyo. Already the parent company of an impressive family of premium audio brands, Sound United announced that it has entered into a term sheet with the Onkyo Corporation that will give Sound United ownership of Onkyo’s consumer audio division—including the Onkyo, Pioneer, Pioneer Elite, and Integra brands. he completion of the transaction, which is still subject to numerous “normal-course” conditions and approvals from regulators and Onkyo’s shareholders, is expected to be closed around the end of June. Once closed, the acquisition will add the Onkyo consumer brands to a laundry list of premium audio brands that includes Denon, Polk, Marantz, Definitive Technology, HEOS, Classé, and Boston Acoustics.
Sound United said that the move will enable the brand to “better innovate” across product categories, feature sets, technology partners, and consumer targets. More specifically, the company believes it will be able to build on the legacies that the Onkyo brands have developed over time by incorporating their own manufacturing efficiencies, product development cycles, and expanded investment capital.
The timing of the announcement is excellent for Sound United, which is preparing for their first-ever dealer conference in New Orleans, May 20-22. Dealerscope will be on site covering the event, which will surely lead to a more in-depth look at what Sound United plans to do with their new collection of AV receivers, HiFi equipment, smart speakers, turntables, soundbars, and more—so stay tuned for that.