Moody’s Investors Service, one of the top credit rating agencies in the world, said this month that DEI Sales, Inc., dba Sound United, has been assigned a credit rating of B2 and a probability of default rating of B2-PD. In addition to this, they are assigning another B2 rating to Sound United’s proposed $380 million senior secured first lien term loan due in 2028. The forward looking “outlook” for Sound United and this rating is “stable.”
Sound United, parent company to a wide range of audio lines, announced this week that it has hired Trip Randall, a former executive with sneaker & sports gear maker Nike, to be the new President of Denon. The company says this move is part of their plan to “revitalize marketing” at Denon. They also say they are looking to “boost direct-to-consumer sales” as well as several other initiatives.
See more on the new Denon president…[Read more…] about Former Nike Exec to Take a Run at Denon
The Band’s Back Together – B&W Reunited with Classé Under Sound United
Sound United announced today that it has closed on its acquisition of Bowers & Wilkins (B&W), as expected. With this deal, B&W is rejoined with Classé – a high-end electronics manufacturer that itself was once part of B&W but then was acquired by Sound United back in Jaunuary 2018.
See more on Sound United acquiring Bowers & Wilkins[Read more…] about Sound United Deal to Acquire Bowers & Wilkins Closes
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%
We seem to be in a week of big deals. First, we learned that SnapAV had acquired Control4, then we learned that the original founder of Paradigm has acquired back the Paradigm, Anthem, and Martin Logan brands from the private equity company that had bought the company from him some time back. Now we learn that Sound United, owner of Denon, Marantz, Polk Audio, Definitive Technology, HEOS, Classé, and Boston Acoustics has entered into an agreement with Onkyo Corp. to purchase Onkyo’s premier lineup of brands, including: Onkyo, Integra, Pioneer and Pioneer Elite.
But does Sound United’s purchase of Onkyo make sense?…[Read more…] about Sound United to Acquire Onkyo’s Audio Division
On Friday last week, we learned that Sonos and D&M Holdings have settled their litigation, first begun in October 2014. Although the terms of the settlement are confidential, all actions taken by each party are now moot.
It is likely that the parties now enjoy some form of licensing arrangement that put all adversarial issues behind them.
See more on what we know about the end of the Sonos and D&M patent war… [Read more…] about Sonos v. HEOS – War is Over, Peace Has Come
Sonos Seeks Permanent Injunction Against Infringing Products
The battle rages on between D&M Holdings and Sonos over the patent infringement lawsuit brought by Sonos in 2014 against the HEOS by Denon line, and in which Sonos won the first set of their claims in a bellwether trial that concluded this past December. In retaliation for the Sonos lawsuit, D&M Holdings filed a countersuit that is now heating up, and in which they just lost a major decision from Judge Richard G. Andrews.
See more on D&M’s loss in this ongoing matter… [Read more…] about In Battle with Sonos, D&M Takes Yet Another Blow
Case May Have Major Impact on Wireless Speaker Business
As we recently reported, a federal jury gave Sonos a sweeping victory in the first “bellwether trial” in Sonos Inc. v. D&M Holdings Inc. et al, siding with Sonos on all counts and awarding them nearly $2 million in damages. Furthermore, the jury affirmed the validity of the three Sonos patents at issue, and disagreed with D&M’s assertion that the patents were not valid.
Strata-gee spoke with both sides of this case and, this decision notwithstanding, neither appears ready to back down, even as this is just the first of what will ultimately be three trials in the case – two where Sonos is the plaintiff, and a countersuit by D&M Holdings where they will be the plaintiff. Sonos won round one, but this is a multi-round fight.
Both Sonos and D&M Holdings talk to Strata-gee in wake of trial verdict… [Read more…] about Sonos to Seek Injunction to Stop HEOS Sales of ‘Infringing Technology’
Jury Finds for Sonos on All Counts; Denon Claims of Invalidity Vanquished
Last Friday, after a full week of testimony, evidence, deposition playbacks, and attorney posturing, members of the jury listened closely as Judge William C. Bryson delivered instructions designed to clarify their deliberative process and their duty as “finders of fact” in the matter of Sonos, Inc. v. D&M Holdings Inc. d/b/a/The D+M Group, D&M Holdings U.S. Inc., and Denon Electronics (USA), LLC. The judges verbal instructions took a while to relay, as the reality is that patent disputes can be quite complex and the issues of intellectual property quite nuanced yet important.
In written form, which the Judge provided the jury for their easy referral, his instructions ran a full 27-pages long. After considering it all, the jury came back with a finding in favor of Sonos on all counts – and delivered an award to Sonos of just under $2 million for damages.
See more on this conclusion to a three year litigation… [Read more…] about Verdict: ‘Denon Directly Infringed’ on Sonos Patents
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.