Audio, video, multimedia and accessories operations join Onkyo and TEAC in the stable of the 120-year-old guitar company
Gibson Brands, Inc. has confirmed it has completed the acquisition of WOOX Innovations, the audio, video, multimedia and accessories business of Dutch electronics giant Royal Philips.
The 120-year-old Nashville-based company says the deal ‘marks a major step in achieving Gibson Brands’ ambition to be the largest music and lifestyle entertainment company in the world, and follows the company’s investments in audio brands including Onkyo and TEAC.’
Since Philips decided to divest itself of its consumer electronics interests in order to concentrate on its medical and lighting businesses, what became Woox Innovations – covering its audio, video, multimedia and accessories operations – has been something of a Flying Dutchman.
First these peripheral businesses were due to be sold off to Japanese manufacturer Funai under a five-year licensing deal, just as Philips divested itself of its TV business via a series of deals with Chinese company TPV, but then in late 2013 Philips announced that the deal was off, and that it would seek other opportunities for the division while operating it as a standalone business, the Hong Kong-based Woox Innovations, with 1900 employees worldwide.
Today it has announced that it’s found that other opportunity: Woox Innovations is being sold to Nashville-based Gibson Brands, the price being $135m – less than the €150m reported as the price of the Funai deal last year – plus a brand license fee allowing Gibson to use the Philips brand for the next seven years.
Only the video business will stay with Philips for the moment, until existing intellectual property agreements allow it to be transferred to Gibson in 2017.
Aims to be ‘global leader in music and sound’
The Gibson name may be most associated with its business as a guitar-maker, founded in 1894, but Gibson Brands has an ambition to be ‘the global leader in music and sound’. Its best-know acquisitions of late have been Onkyo and TEAC, along with their respective sub-brands Integra, Tascam and Esoteric, but it has a portfolio of over 100 well-known brands in the instrument and audio markets.
Musical instrument brands under the Gibson umbrella include Epiphone, Dobro, Valley Arts, Kramer, Steinberger, Tobias, Slingerland, Maestro, Baldwin, Hamilton, Chickering and Wurlitzer, while alongside Onkyo, TEAC and new acquisition Philips, its brands include KRK Systems, Cerwin-Vega! and Stanton.
Gibson Brands Chairman and CEO Henry Juszkiewicz says that ‘This agreement is the most significant step yet in Gibson Brands’ journey to become the largest music and sound technology company in the world.’
Written by Andrew Everard