Sharp and Voxx are in talks to take over Onkyo. The struggling Japanese audio brand is reported to be on the verge of financial collapse, so this could be the Osaka-based firm's last roll of the dice.
"VOXX International Corporation today announced that it has signed a Letter of Intent to acquire the Home Audio/Video business of Onkyo Home Entertainment Corporation, along with Sharp Corporation as its partner," reads the official investor note (opens in new tab) on on Voxx's website.
Voxx owns a number of audio brands, including premium loudspeaker outfit Klipsch. Voxx and Onkyo already have close ties – last August, Onkyo reached an agreement with Voxx International Corp to replace Onkyo USA as its US distributor.
Sharp also already works hand-in-hand with Onkyo, having produced Onkyo-branded products at its Malaysian manufacturing plant since 2017. The same plant also turns out Pioneer AV equipment, which Voxx distributes across North America. So the three firms aren't exactly strangers.
Founded in 1946, Onkyo has been a household name in the speaker, turntable and stereo amplifier markets for decades. The first indication that all was not rosy came in 2019 when Onkyo tried and failed to sell its audio business to Sound United – owner of Denon and Marantz – for a reported $73m (approx £53m, AU$95m).
Despite Onkyo's core AV division bringing in over half the company's revenue in 2020, the firm faces delisting from the Tokyo Stock Exchange for breaching the market's rules on negative net worth (via NikkeiAsia (opens in new tab)).
So, will Voxx and Sharp ride to Onkyo's rescue? "It is our hope that we can reach an agreement shortly," says Voxx CEO and president Pat Lavelle.
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