Harman to acquire AMX: after the light comes control

May 21 2014, 18:28
Harman’s announcement regarding AMX confirms the expansion in market scope through acquisitions strategy as previously disclosed. Involving mainly Harman’s Professional division, the company made a significant first move in December 2012, when it bought Martin Professional, creating what was described then as a “combination of two worldwide industry leaders” and a “comprehensive offering of audio, lighting and video solutions for the live stage and events, as well as permanent venues and installations”. In October 2013, Harman announced the acquisition of the Dutch company Duran Audio, reinforcing its professional and commercial audio solutions in permanent installations and demanding acoustic environments. An acquisition again described as underscoring “Harman’s strategy to complement continued growth through targeted acquisitions in adjacent technology and product areas across all geographic and vertical markets.”

The AMX announcement seems to be a logic expansion of this strategy, gaining access to critical components on the future of networked AV solutions and integrated systems. Harman’s Professional division designs, manufactures and markets professional audio and lighting products for recording and broadcast, musicians, cinema, touring sound, commercial applications like airports, stadiums, hotels and concert halls. Harman also designs, manufactures, and markets a wide range of car infotainment, safety and audio solutions for the automotive and consumer markets with premium brands and leading-edge connectivity, safety and audio technologies. AMX hardware and software solutions simplify the implementation, maintenance, and use of technology to create effective environments with control and automation technologies, switching and audio/video signal distribution, digital signage and technology management. The agreement to acquire AMX for US$365 million is a significant vertical expansion.

“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, Texas, AMX’s hardware and proprietary software solutions simplify the way people interact with technology and are implemented worldwide throughout a variety of enterprises and venues such as conference rooms, hotels, classrooms, network operation / command centers, entertainment venues and broadcast facilities. 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”, says 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 Chief Operating Officer, 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.” AMX will be integrated into Harman’s Professional division, together with brands like AKG Acoustics, BSS Audio, Crown amplifiers, dbx, JBL Professional, Lexicon, Soundcraft, Studer and Martin lighting.
The transaction is still subject to customary closing conditions, including applicable regulatory approvals.

www.harman.com | www.amx.com
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