In a major move that’s sure to reverberate through the entire AV industry, Sound United has entered a “term sheet” agreement to acquire Onkyo Home Audio. If the deal goes through, that brings Onkyo, Integra, Pioneer and Pioneer Elite brands under the same roof as Denon, Polk Audio, Marantz, Definitive technology, HEOS, Classé and Boston Acoustics.
This preliminary agreement sets the stage for negotiations to close the deal. If it goes down, current Sound United CEO Kevin Duffy will be the CEO of the whole operation.
“We are thrilled by the opportunity to add the venerable Onkyo and Pioneer brands to our portfolio. Sound United is one of the leading dedicated providers of premium audio/video products, and we believe the combined businesses will bring unrivaled innovation and sound performance to our consumers and channel partners,” said Kevin Duffy. “Upon completion of the transaction, we will work tirelessly with the consumer audio division of Onkyo Corporation to ensure a seamless transition into the Sound United family so that all employees, customers and channel partners benefit from the enhanced breadth and depth of the new organization.”
Sound United expects to reap benefits from this requisition, if it goes through. The company says that the additional brands will allow it to “better innovate across product categories, feature sets, technology partners, and consumer targets.” According to the press release, the acquisition would include all worldwide third-party distribution agreements under which the Pioneer and Onkyo brands are sold at this time.
The combined engineering expertise of the companies under the Sound United umbrella make a (the) major force to be reckoned with in the AV industry. After all, the press release leads with the bold claim that the combined companies would create the “World’s strongest portfolio of premium audio brands.”
Please remember, this is not yet a done deal. There is the old due diligence, financing, regulatory approval, and final “definitive agreement” that all have to be hammered out before we can say this is final. But, my guess is that there wouldn’t even be a press release if there wasn’t a significant chance that this is going to happen. What comes next is anyone’s guess, but there is no question that Sound United is now poised to be the undisputed king of AV receivers. If the acquisition goes through, Denon, Marantz, Pioneer, Pioneer Elite, Onkyo and Integra all end up part of one big family.