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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

Joe is Content Director for Specialist Tech at Future and was previously the Global Editor-in-Chief of What Hi-Fi?. He has worked on What Hi-Fi? across print and online for more than 15 years, writing news, reviews and features. 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 provided comment for sites such as the BBC and the Guardian. In his spare time he enjoys mixing vinyl and cycling.