Harman Buys AMX

harman-amx-0514In a surprise move, today Harman announced that it will acquire control company AMX for $365 million, pending regulatory approvals. AMX was previously owned by The Duchossois Group, a privately held investment firm. HARMAN already owns many well-known AV brands, including JBL, Crown, dbx and others, though most were primarily focused on audio. The purchase of one of the biggest three home and commercial control companies is a big move into the rest of the market — a sign that Harman wants to be in more than just audio.

rAVe founder Gary Kayye says, “This is the largest acquisition in our market in a couple years. This is a good marriage between two companies the probably need each other and will be complementary to each other. HARMAN has a great distribution channel and fills out what AMX doesn’t have — an audio side — and likewise AMX gives HARMAN access to switching, routing, room control and new collaboration technologies. One interesting thing that should be noted from this is how much HARMAN paid for AMX. I think most people believe AMX was much larger than it really was. Based on this purchase amount, it appears that AMX is about 25 percent the size of Crestron and likely doing 1/6th of the amount of business Extron is doing.”

Below is the complete press release from HARMAN:

Harman International Industries, Incorporated (NYSE:HAR), the premier infotainment and audio group, today announced it has signed an agreement with The Duchossois Group, Inc. and its affiliates to acquire AMX LLC for US$365 million. AMX is the leading provider of enterprise control and automation systems and audio and video switching and distributing solutions. The transaction is subject to customary closing conditions, including applicable regulatory approvals.

“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.”

“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” 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 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, a leading professional audio and lighting business, featuring legendary 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 leading professional audio and lighting products for recording and broadcast, musicians, cinema, touring sound, commercial applications like airports, stadiums, hotels and concert halls. HARMAN systems are installed in world renowned entertainment and hospitality complexes, transportation centers, and cultural and academic institutions around the globe.

Update: 

The following message was sent out to AMX employees and dealers from AMX President and CEO Rashid Skaf:

AMX Partners,

I have some very exciting news that I want to share with you and your team. Earlier this morning, Harman International signed an agreement with The Duchossois Group, Inc. to acquire AMX. While the transaction is subject to customary closing conditions and regulatory approvals, I want to let you know about the announcement and what it means for AMX.
 
As you know, AMX is the global technology leader in enterprise control and automation as well as audio and video switching and distribution. HARMAN is known for smart connectivity in the car, as well as superior acoustics in the studio, on the stage, at home and in the car. With the addition of AMX to the HARMAN portfolio, we can now provide audio, video, lighting and automation solutions to our combined customers.
 
I realize you may have a few questions for me about potential changes, the timing of those changes and other logistical issues. For now, it’s business as usual. We have a few weeks until we close the deal and there are many details to discuss with the team from HARMAN. 
 
I can tell you that AMX will be integrated into HARMAN’s Professional Division, where we will join other legendary brands like AKG Acoustics, BSS AudioCrown amplifiers, dbxJBL Professional, LexiconSoundcraftStuder and Martin lighting. In addition, I will be joining HARMAN, working for Blake Augsburger, who heads up HARMAN’s Professional Division. 
 
In the meantime, I want to thank you as always for your partnership and support of AMX and look forward to working with you during the transition and beyond as AMX finds a new home within HARMAN. 
 
Best Regards,
Rashid Skaf
President & CEO
AMX