Harman International Industries Inc. has signed an agreement with The Duchossois Group Inc. and its affiliates to acquire AMX LLC for $365 million. AMX will be integrated into Harman’s Professional division, leaving unanswered questions about the brand’s future in the residential channel.
Harman’s Professional division focuses on a professional audio and lighting, with brands like AKG Acoustics, BSS Audio, Crown amplifiers, dbx, JBL Professional, Lexicon, Soundcraft, Studer, and Martin lighting. Harman’s Professional division designs, manufactures, and markets professional audio and lighting products for recording and broadcast, musicians, cinema, touring sound, and commercial applications like airports, stadiums, hotels, and concert halls.
Harman and AMX executives commented on the acquisition in a press release, but a Harman spokesman declined requests for follow-up requests for interviews until regulatory approvals are complete, other than to state that "it's really premature to discuss [the residential business]. Once the deal closes, we’ll offer more insight into how all aspects of the AMX business lines will integrate into our pro, enterprise, and consumer offerings. Having said this, the focus of this investment is on b-to-b [business-to-business] in the enterprise space."*
"Harman is the leader in smart connectivity. Our vision is to extend our reach beyond the car into the enterprise, where we already have a substantial audio presence,” said Dinesh C. Paliwal, chairman, president and CEO of Harman. “AMX is the global technology leader in enterprise control and automation, as well as audio and video switching and distribution. With the addition of AMX, Harman will be uniquely positioned to provide complete audio, video, lighting and automation solutions to our customers globally.”
Founded in 1982 and headquartered in Richardson, TX, AMX’s hardware and proprietary software solutions are implemented worldwide throughout a variety of enterprises and venues, such as conference rooms, hotels, classrooms, network operation/command centers, entertainment venues, broadcast facilities, and residences.
AMX employs more than 600 people across its operations in 19 locations worldwide.
“Starting with the acquisition of Martin lighting last year, Harman has set forth a clear strategy to add visual solutions to our legacy of audio offerings," said Blake Augsburger, president, Harman Professional division. "AMX's strong portfolio of video distribution hardware and software is a significant step into the video domain, reinforcing Harman’s commitment to expand our professional portfolio with industry-leading technologies and brands in adjacent and complementary markets.”
“Harman is a world-class company, and this transaction will provide additional opportunities to grow the AMX business,” said Robert L. Fealy, president and COO, the Duchossois Group, and chairman of AMX. “The sale to Harman fulfills one of our fundamental objectives, which was to position this business with a leading entity that will take AMX to an even higher level of performance and success.”
*Story updated at 2:45 p.m., May 21, 2014