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.
Sound United LLC, the parent company to brands such as Denon, Marantz, Polk Audio, Definitive Technology, Classé, and Boston Acoustics, announced on Tuesday that they have joined forces with Home Technology Specialists of America (HTSA), a leading trade consortium of custom integration dealers. This new partnership will expand availability of some of the top specialty audio brands throughout North America, thanks to HTSA’s extensive network of top dealers.
See more on this Sound United and HTSA partnership…[Read more…] about Sound United and HTSA Partner to Expand Market Availability of Top Audio Brands
No Need to Panic Now, But Maybe Soon
I received a tip from a tech supplier here in the U.S. that the Coronavirus epidemic impacting China is a big problem getting bigger every day…and that our industry needs to think about – and prepare for – the impact on our supply chain. This week, Strata-gee surveyed several brands to learn their status on product supply…and what their perspective was on the near-term future impact of this epidemic taking place in China.
What top brands say about supply chain risk…[Read more…] about Strata-gee Survey Shows Coronavirus Response Places Supply Chain in Jeopardy
Also: Consolidating Facilities & Moving Headquarters
It appears that the other shoe is dropping in the wake of the failed acquisition of Onkyo Corporation’s branded A/V division by Sound United last month, as the company now says it will reduce its overhead by cutting jobs. This appears to be the first step in a major reorganization of the company, as it seeks to right-size the organization for the industry’s new, smaller, and more competitive environment in which electronics manufacturers find themselves.
See more on Onkyo’s restructuring…[Read more…] about Onkyo to Slash Overall Company Headcount by 30%, Cutting Management by 50%
With almost two years away from the market after their acquisition by Sound United in January 2018, Classé says it will return to the audiophile electronics market in January 2020 with the launch of their new even more upscale Delta Series line consisting of two new amplifiers and one new preamplifier/DAC. But after so long away, what will it take for the company to re-establish the brand?
See more on the return of Classé…[Read more…] about Classé to Launch New Delta Series Line in Triumphant Return to the Market
BREAKING NEWS Acquired by Sound United Two Years Ago, Then Gone
It was January 2018 when I reported that Sound United had completed its acquisition of Classé, an acquisition which had been first announced in December of 2017. In the weeks leading up to that December, former owner Bowers & Wilkins was considering getting out of the electronics business…maybe. After months of confusion, where on any day executives at Classé teetered back-and-forth between survival and demise – it now seemed that Sound United had thrown them a lifeline…a chance to live to fight another day.
And then they dropped out of sight for the last two years…
What happened to Classé?…[Read more…] about The Curious Case of the Disappearance of Classé
Sound United announced yesterday it had completed the acquisition of shuttered high-end brand Classé Audio from former owner Bowers & Wilkins. Terms of the deal were not disclosed. The announcement confirms the deal of which Strata-gee reported last month when Sound United quietly entered negotiations to buy the brand.
See more on this news which breathes new life into Classé… [Read more…] about Classé Rises Again as Part of Sound United
Will High-End Classé Represent Sound United’s Crown Jewel?
Just when you thought it was all over, Strata-gee has learned that a new suitor – Vista, CA-based Sound United – has emerged to make a bid to acquire Classé Audio from current owner B&W Group. Classé was shut down by B&W on October 6th, as we reported at the time. However, because the company was still sitting on a relatively significant level of inventory – and was considering producing an additional small run of certain models to balance out their inventory to facilitate liquidation – B&W executives often maintained it was still in business.
When deals with three previously interested parties failed to come to fruition, B&W made the decision to close Classé’s Montreal headquarters, dismiss all Classé staff, and turned over service and support functions to B&W facilities.
See more on this surprising development for Classé… [Read more…] about Surprise! Sound United Makes Bid to Acquire Classé
We have now confirmed that at the end of the day last Friday, October 6th, the Classé headquarters facility was in fact closed by Bowers & Wilkins (B&W) for the last time and all remaining employees were dismissed. This move is a sad and sobering end to a once proud brand celebrated by many audiophiles as one of the finest performing lines of high-end electronics available.
See more of what we know about the closing of Classé… [Read more…] about Confirmed: B&W Closes Classé HQ; Staff Dismissed
Multiple sources are telling us that on Friday, October 6th, the Montreal headquarters of Classé will close their doors for the last time and all remaining employees will be let go. This includes the dismissal of Classé President Dave Nauber, who has been with the company since 2002. Classé is part of the B&W Group, which itself is going through a major restructuring in the wake of the dismissal of President Doug Henderson as we reported to you back in July.