Highlander Partners, L.P., a Dallas-based private equity company, announced today that it has acquired McIntosh Group, a manufacturing and distribution company that offers several high-performance, high-end audio brands such as McIntosh, Sonus Faber, and Sumiko. It also operates under Fine Sounds U.K. and Fine Sounds Benelux.
A Guest Post on the Saga of an American Brand
Of all the success stories of the ‘70s high end audio boom, none was more unlikely than that of Audio Research Corporation (ARC). Based in Minnesota’s Twin Cities, historically a fly-over region for hi-fi, led by a balding, bearlike founder, and offering electronics based around vacuum tubes – considered obsolete for a decade – ARC somehow survived and thrived.
Learn more on the saga of Audio Research…[Read more…] about Audio Research: Alone Again (Naturally)
Company Says No Such Program Exists Today
We’ve recently learned about a program at McIntosh Laboratory, Inc., in which the company approached select prominent individuals, such as famous musicians or other celebrities, and provided them with McIntosh products directly, without the involvement of its dealers. The program, according to sources, was launched by Linda Passaro, a former Vice President of Global Sales and Marketing for McIntosh when it was part of D&M Holdings. Passaro was terminated in November 2011 by President Charlie Randall, but the program apparently remained in force for some time.
See more on this program that is a sore spot with some McIntosh dealers… [Read more…] about McIntosh Program to Supply Celebrities Cut Dealers Out
This Time Brand Takes Local Dealers With Them
Raleigh, NC-based Cary Audio announced this week that they will allow their high-end specialty electronics line to be sold online. At first blush, this looks like yet another specialty brand disrupting their bricks-and-mortar dealer base in favor of powerful online dealers – much like our recent story on McIntosh Labs doing just that. But this time, Cary took a completely different approach – one that takes their local dealers along with them.
See how Cary built an entirely different program in going online… [Read more…] about Yet Another High-End Brand Turns to Internet Sales, But This Time’s Different
We have learned through multiple sources that McIntosh Labs, the high-end American brand that was thrust into the limelight recently when it came to light that the company was authorizing internet sales of its specialty brand, has experienced a bit of a management shake-up. Specifically, two top executives have resigned their positions at the company in just the last few days.
See what we’ve uncovered about this change at McIntosh… [Read more…] about In Eye of Storm, McIntosh Hit with Management Shake-Up
Last week, we broke the news on Strata-gee.com that McIntosh Laboratories, historically a strong supporter of specialty A/V dealers, had decided to open up sales through the Internet. This decision hit the existing, largely offline, McIntosh specialty dealers hard…many reaching out to us to express their frustration.
The same day our story was posted, McIntosh electronically distributed a letter to dealers from Dan Wakefield, VP of North American Sales for McIntosh, explaining the company’s decision.
See what McIntosh said to dealers about their decision… [Read more…] about In Wake of Strata-gee Article, McIntosh Sends Letter to Dealers
Multiple sources have told us that McIntosh Laboratory, Inc., a brand once deeply committed to the specialty electronics retail channel, has notified dealers by phone that for the first time in its history the company will allow Internet retailers to sell the brand. The list of online dealers that will be authorized to sell McIntosh products includes Amazon.com. The news has sent a shock around their dealer base and we have heard from several very loyal, long-time McIntosh dealers…who are very, very angry.
See more on this latest development from McIntosh… [Read more…] about Former Specialist Darling McIntosh Opens Up Internet Sales
On Tuesday last week, much like any other day, after arriving at my office I powered up my computer and began wading through the usual 100-150 emails that greet me every morning. Some of these are client-related emails, some are personal, but most are press releases or announcements. On that day, however, one in particular caught my attention – it was from Richard Glikes of Azione and it included a link to a video which was…remarkable.
This press release caught my attention not because it was from Azione, that is an common occurrence. Rather it caught my attention because it was from Azione on a topic that I am not used to dealer buying groups concerning themselves with – sales representative companies.
Little did I suspect that this would be the beginning of a strange turn of events… [Read more…] about Reps: Are They On the Right Track? Or Have They Run Off the Rails?
News emerged today that Italian holding company Fine Sounds SpA has acquired 100% of McIntosh Laboratory, the Binghamton, NY-based high-end brand most recently owned by D&M Holdings. The announcement – which came from Fine Sounds, contained only a short statement from Charles Randall, President of McIntosh, with no other comments attributed to D&M Holdings or its parent Bain Capital.
Fine Sounds, backed by private equity company Quadrivio – also based in Milan, Italy – is the owner and distributor of other high-end brands such as Sonus Faber, Audio Research Corporation, Wadia Digital, and Sumiko. According to the company, their strategy is to “offer products that are the best in the world in their category.
But does this strategy make sense for McIntosh?…
<March 14, 2012> McIntosh Audio Labs audio products received great acclaim as they competed with vintage motor cars at the McIntosh Listening Experience the company set up at the Concours d’Elegance. This was the second time McIntosh showed their products at the popular vintage motor car show which took place this past weekend at the Ritz-Carleton on Amelia Island, FL. [Read more…] about Vintage Cars Collide with High Performance Entertainment at McIntosh Listening Experience