Fred Farrar (left) president of AVAD, and Tom Jacoby CEO of AVAD
Kingswood Capital Management, an operationally focused middle market private equity investment firm, via its controlled affiliate has acquired AVAD, LLC, including its wholly owned subsidiary, AVAD Canada Ltd.
Tom Jacoby has been recruited as the new CEO, and Fred Farrar as the new president of AVAD. Jacoby has been involved in the audiovisual industry for more than 30 years, previously serving as CEO of the Harman Consumer Group and director of Klipsch Group. He most recently worked as corporate development officer for Tymphany, a supplier of loudspeaker components.
Farrar brings decades of experience in investment management, having held several executive roles including executive vice president, operations, and board member of Klipsch Lanham Investments, a private investment company consisting of consumer electronics and real estate companies and numerous alternative investments. In this role, he oversaw the acquisition of Klipsch Audio in 1990 when the company operated at $13M in annual sales and helped grow the brand to $220M with 480 employees and two manufacturing facilities. Other key executives will be announced to assist the team going forward.
“Fred Farrar and I have had the pleasure of working with AVAD as one of our customers over our many years in the consumer electronics industry,” Jacoby said in a press release. “We hold AVAD in the highest regard and look forward to joining its strong, passionate team and extending AVAD’s market leading position. We have plans to invest in AVAD’s infrastructure and will particularly focus on using web enabled technology to deliver added value to all of our trading partners. We are delighted to be able to contribute our experience and commitment to this great organization.”
“I am excited to work with the AVAD team as we build on the most respected line card in the business and further strengthen AVAD’s renowned customer service, technical support, and system design capabilities,” Farrar said. “I’m also very pleased that AVAD’s leadership team have chosen to partner with us, as we focus on enhancing the customer, vendor, and employee experience.”
With more than 10,000 customers across the United States and Canada, AVAD is among the most recognized brands in the systems integration market and offers solutions for video, audio, networking, HVAC, lighting control, security, home automation, digital signage, system design, and other products needed by professional installers. The partnership with Kingswood and its operating team provides AVAD with the executive leadership, operational resources, and capital necessary to realize the company’s long-term strategic goals, according to the company.
“As the market leader in distribution of premium audio and video solutions, AVAD is poised to grow its product offering and distribution reach under new leadership,” said Alex Wolf, managing partner at Kingswood. “Kingswood is fortunate to partner with an industry leader like AVAD and proven industry executives like Mr. Jacoby and Mr. Farrar in this transaction.”
Kingswood Capital had thoroughly vetted AVAD before the purchase and believes that AVAD’s team is one of the strong assets they have. Jacoby and Farrar are currently planning strategic sessions with the AVAD team for next week, according to an AVAD spokesperson.
Jim Annes, who formerly served as general manager of AVAD, pro AV/digital signage, physical security, and peripherals business units, will be continuing on with Ingram Micro (AVAD’s former parent company) and will not be a part of the new AVAD team. No other management changes are occurring at this time.