Sound United completes acquisition of Bowers & Wilkins

Sound United completes acquisition of Bowers & Wilkins
(Image credit: Bowers & Wilkins)

Sound United has finalised its acquisition of Bowers & Wilkins. The acquisition includes all worldwide third-party distribution and licensing agreements under which Bowers & Wilkins premium audio products are currently sold. 

The news of a deal was first revealed in June this year when Sound United announced "a preliminary letter of intent to acquire Bowers & Wilkins".

Geoff Edwards, who was previously B&W CEO and will continue as President of the Bowers & Wilkins brand at Sound United, commented: "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. 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 a US-based private equity firm which already owns Boston Acoustics, Classé, Definitive Technology, Denon, HEOS, Marantz and Polk Audio.

Kevin Duffy, CEO at Sound United, said: "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. 

"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." 

Earlier this year, B&W confirmed a restructuring following the departure of their CEO and the souring of the relationship with Eva Automation, a Silicon Valley start-up that had acquired the brand back in 2016. 

Eva Automation had driven the launch of B&W Formation, the company's first multi-room wireless system, with rumours subsequently swirling around the success or otherwise of the likes of the B&W Formation Duo

The Bowers & Wilkins Home app, which powers the Formation range, was developed by Eva Automation and hasn't been updated since February. Sound United's brands use the HEOS platform to power its multi-room products, first seen on the Denon HEOS multi-room range, so it will be interesting to see if HEOS makes its way on to B&W products. 

Fingers crossed this Sound United deal will mean this great British brand can continue to deliver great hi-fi products.

Joe Cox
Content Director

Joe is the Content Director for What Hi-Fi? and Future’s Product Testing, having previously been the Global Editor-in-Chief of What Hi-Fi?. He has worked on What Hi-Fi? across the print magazine and website for almost 20 years, writing news, reviews and features on everything from turntables to TVs, headphones to hi-fi separates. He has covered product launch events across the world, from Apple to Technics, Sony and Samsung; reported from CES, the Bristol Show, and Munich High End for many years; and written for sites such as the BBC, Stuff, and the Guardian. In his spare time, he enjoys expanding his vinyl collection and cycling (not at the same time).