Russound Enhances Brand with Colorado vNet Addition
10/8/2009 6:31 AM
When I spoke with Russound’s new VP of sales and marketing, RJ Hirshkind, about his company’s pending acquisition of Colorado vNet, I found out that the deal came together quite quickly.
He called the deal “opportunistic,” rather than a long-term strategic plan by Russound.
Russound CEO Charlie Porritt has been friends with Colorado vNet
founder Bill Beierwaltes over the years, and had reached out to the
entrepreneur-inventor after learning that his company’s investor had
backed out post-CEDIA EXPO.
When the two executives talked
they realized certain “synergies” between their companies.
Particularly, Russound would gain engineering insight toward its goals
of more IP-based audio distribution and vNet would stay in business and
gain more stability.
Hirshkind said that in addition to helping
Russound in that transformation from an analog to IP audio
distribution, vNet also brings very strong integration capabilities to
the table, which would help make the company’s system more robust and
enable it to integrate better with security, CCTV, HVAC technologies.
Also, there’s minimum crossover between the dealer bases of the two companies.
I look at the product, it’s a different approach to doing the same
thing,” Hirshkind said in explaining the lack of dealer overlap. “If
you want distributed audio, whether via an amplified keypad or
non-amplified keypad, they do theirs via IP and it’s more technology
driven than our existing analog products. While the customer base may
crossover a little, it’s usually a different end user. The installer
would be attacking that installation differently than a Russound
customer would be.”
He foresees the Colorado vNet name becoming another brand name (like the company's Sphere
product line,) within the Russound family. “It’s not someone who just
sits on top of us and does the same thing we already do. It’s give us a
tangent opportunity," Hirshkind said.
On Monday afternoon,
Russound CEO Charlie Porritt was on a plane headed to Colorado to begin
his due diligence before finalizing the deal. The companies had already
come to an agreement on price, according to Hirshkind. “It’s like we’re
buying a house, and now we’re doing the inspection,” he said.