You may recall that we reported in May that Sound United, with its portfolio of brands including Denon, Polk Audio and Marantz, was poised to take on all Onkyo and Pioneer consumer business, but it looks that deal is no longer happening.

We received news this week from Onkyo explaining that the agreement with Viper Holdings Corporation “to transfer all shares of its consolidated subsidiaries” was now terminated. According to the release, Onkyo had agreed to assign its Home AV related business to Sound United in order to focus its business resources and technology in the two areas it believed itself to have strongest growth potential, namely ‘Digital Life’ portable and OEM products and services targeting business customers.

Onkyo’s rationale for the SU acquisition was that the combination of Onkyo’s already world-class premium brands, engineering and manufacturing capabilities combined with Sound United’s portfolio of Denon, Polk Audio, Marantz, Definitive Technology, HEOS, Classé, and Boston Acoustics “would well position the new group to capture future growth of music and entertainment in the home.” The arrangement would have allowed Onkyo “to continue to capture the growth of this business through future licensing royalties.” On May 21st, Onkyo entered into an agreement with Viper Holdings, the holding company of Sound United.

No specifics of the reasoning are offered here, other than the fact that the agreement will be terminated due to several conditions of the transfer not being met. Some might think this is positive news for consumers that the chief high-volume HT receiver manufacturers will not now apparently be residing under one roof.


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Martin Dew


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