JAPAN/UK: Last Wednesday (April 2nd) brought the surprise announcement by D&M Holdings that it had acquired UK mixing console manufacturer Allen & Heath. The news emerges just eight months after D&M added to its pro-audio portfolio with the purchase of British broadcast console maker Calrec Audio, writes David Davies.
While the terms of the transaction will not be disclosed, D&M has confirmed that Cornwall-based Allen & Heath - which has been in private ownership since managing director Glenn Rogers (pictured) led a VC-backed buyout from Harman in 2001 - will continue to be headed by Rogers and the current management team.
"We're adding another dimension to our position in the professional audio marketplace with this acquisition," commented chairman and CEO Eric C. Evans. "Allen & Heath is a strong brand in the professional live sound performance market and well-suited to benefit from the D&M business platform. Like our other premium brands, Allen & Heath can continue to focus on innovation while D&M provides expanded global market reach and other support. We also see useful tie-ins with Calrec, our live-to-air broadcast console brand, and Denon DJ."
Speaking to Dan Goldstein for a news feature set to appear in the April print issue of PSNE, Rogers admitted that acquisition or partnership had not been on the Allen & Heath agenda. "We were enjoying our independence and weren't actively looking for partners," he said. "But every successful business receives approaches. We generally rebuffed them, but D&M had a very clear idea of what they were trying to do and why, and believed a deal would genuinely be in the interests of both parties. So we engaged in a conversation, entertained a good offer, and decided to accept."