Bowers & Wilkins in Preliminary Agreement to Be Acquired By Sound United

Sound United logo

In yet another twist in the long and winding saga of Bowers & Wilkins (B&W), it was announced late Friday that the company has entered into an agreement to be acquired by Sound United, the parent company of several audio brands such as Denon, Marantz, Polk Audio, Definitive Technology, HEOS, Classé, and Boston Acoustics.

See more on Sound United acquiring Bowers & Wilkins…

In a short one page announcement released late on a Friday afternoon, Sound United announced that it has signed a letter of intent to acquire venerated audio brand Bowers & Wilkins. Adding yet another fine audio brand in its growing stable of top audio companies, Sound United seems to be continuing to fill out the higher end or luxury segment of their portfolio by adding the high-end B&W speaker brand.

It is a reunion of sorts, with B&W joining a portfolio of audio brands that includes Classé, a high end line of electronics that at one time had been part of B&W years back. Sound United acquired Classé back at the beginning of 2018 – after the company had been jettisoned out of B&W by its new management at the time, led by Silicon Valley persona, Gideon Yu.

Bowers & Willkins logo

“Over the course of five decades Bowers & Wilkins built one of the most prestigious brands in the global speaker market with industry-leading acoustical engineering, iconic design and marketing. B&W is a transformative brand and we look forward to the opportunity to finalize the transaction. This reflects Sound United’s unwavering focus to achieve its mission of bringing joy to the world through sound.”

Kevin Duffy, CEO of Sound United

In some ways, the announcement was a surprise, coming as it did, late in the day at the end of the week. But in other ways it was not a surprise at all. I had been making diligent efforts to reach out to folks related to B&W, as the Strata-gee network of sources had been tingling with tips of something major being in the works.

It also follows by just a few short months the news of major changes taking place at B&W, with Gideon Yu and Greg Lee leaving the Board of Directors in a major shake-up of company management. Strata-gee reported this news in early March of this year.

B&W 802 a Bowers & Wilkins top model
B&W’s 802 D3 loudspeaker

The Sound United announcement notes that “the proposed transaction remains subject to ongoing discussions, confirmatory diligence, regulatory approvals, and other required consents.” The company promises to release further details when appropriate.

We should note that this announcement is of a letter of intent…and NOT a completed deal. There is still much that could emerge to impact these discussions.

Long time Strata-gee readers will recall a series of posts when Sound United and Onkyo entered into a similar agreement in May 2019…only to eventually have that deal fall apart by October. So caution and patience rule the day, as we monitor the progress of this deal.

Learn more about Sound United by visiting: www.soundunited.com.

See what Bowers and Wilkins offers at: www.bowerswilkins.com.


Comments

Bowers & Wilkins in Preliminary Agreement to Be Acquired By Sound United — 4 Comments

  1. First Eva Automation and now Sound United! I was Chief Operating Officer for 14 years during the “glory period” and we realized unprecedented success. I never dreamed that Bowers & Wilkins would go through all these changes. The entire senior management team for North America are gone; so are many of the incredibly talented executives in the UK. I can only hope that one day the brand can regain their prior success and prestige.

  2. I wish all the best to all concerned. B&W is clearly a storied and well-respected brand, and I hope that Sound United can help the company recover from the indignities B&W has recently suffered.

    • Hey Philip… Can you say what the “effects of this troubling marriage” were? I’m not quite sure I understand just what you mean… Thanks!

Comment on this Post

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

PLEASE READ OUR **COMMENT POLICY** BEFORE POSTING A COMMENT

We welcome your comments and encourage you to participate by offering your insights and thoughts on our posted stories. However, in some instances, your comment may be subject to editing or deletion if they violate one or more of the following points.

    --First, while we support vigorous debate and are generally quite tolerant of even controversial thoughts and ideas - we do not tolerate rudeness, profanity, or personal attacks.
    --Second, please stay on topic with your thoughts.
    --Third, while links to relevant content are OK, we do not allow self-promotion or SPAM.

The owner of this site reserves the right to edit or delete any comments submitted to this site without notice. This comment policy is subject to change at any time.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.