Another AV industry shake-up is on the way with the news that Sound United has set the wheels in motion to acquire the consumer audio divisions of venerable Japanese brands, Onkyo and Pioneer.
A statement released today calls it a "preliminary agreement", ahead of negotiating definitive terms, with the deal set to include the Onkyo, Pioneer, Pioneer Elite and Integra brands.
The acquisition would cause plenty of crossover in certain AV categories, notably in the home cinema receiver market. Sound United already owns the Denon and Marantz brands, as well as Polk Audio, Classe, Definitive Technology and Boston Acoustics.
However, the release suggests that the company will be aiming at the wireless smart speaker and soundbar categories, with Sound United "eager to invest in the development of new products with the added benefit of Onkyo and Pioneer’s extensive legacy of innovation".
Kevin Duffy, CEO, Sound United, commented: "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."
Onkyo Corporation will retain the rights to the Pioneer and Onkyo brands for the purposes of their Digital Life and Embedded Audio businesses. Digital Life focuses on portable media players and micro systems. European distribution will be retained by Austrian company, Aqipa GmbH.
It's the latest phase in a tumultuous period for the AV brands, which hark back to Pioneer selling its AV business to Onkyo back in 2014.
Sound United is a subsidiary of DEI Holdings, a portfolio company of US private equity firm, Charlesbank Capital Partners. The company acquired D+M Group, which includes Denon, Marantz and Boston Acoustics, back in 2017.
The next stage of the acquisition looks set to be the Onkyo Corporation's AGM on 26th June. So watch this space.