d&b audiotechnik acquired by Ardian

Together with the loudspeaker maker’s existing management, Ardian, the independent private investment company, has announced it is acquiring d&b audiotechnik from Odewald & Compagnie and COBEPA.

As part of the transaction, d&b’s CEO Amnon Harman, Markus Strohmeier (managing director); Frank Bothe (director of R&D); Kay Lange (director of finance); Hans-Peter Nüdling (director of sales and services); and Sabina Berloffa (director of marketing) will also take a stake in the company.

With the support of Ardian, the company plans to further strengthen its leading global position.

The parties have agreed not to reveal the full details, and the conclusion of the deal is still subject to approval by the relevant antitrust authorities.

Since being acquired by Odewald & Compagnie and COBEPA in 2011, d&b has focused heavily on internationalisation, with sales rising from €44 million to €94 million in the financial year 2015, according to the firm. The number of employees has also risen sharply from 200 in 2011 to around 350 today.

The company says that one of the main growth drivers at product level has been the strategic development of the market for fixed audio installations, which it has ‘vigorously pursued’ in recent years, building on d&b’s position in the area of mobile/touring systems. As part of the internationalization process, new subsidiaries were founded in Europe, the USA and Japan, and the company’s production capacity was more than doubled. In particular, d&b achieved strong growth in the USA and Asia. Today, d&b operates in more than 70 countries.

“Everything at d&b is about creating the best sound possible. We are therefore in an excellent position to benefit from the increasing expectations of professional audio technology at events, concerts and large shows worldwide,” Harman said. “Together with our new shareholder Ardian, we particularly want to further develop in the Asia-Pacific, South American and North American markets and further expand our leading position in our European home market.

“We would like to thank our former shareholders Odewald & Compagnie and COBEPA for their support over the past years – they set the strategic course for our success today and specifically invested in helping us reach our growth potential.”

Fabian Wagener, director at Ardian, added: “Over the past three decades, d&b has become a premium brand in the professional audio technology sector and has shown outstanding organic growth. We are convinced of the company’s innovative strength, its results-oriented management team, its dedicated employees and the resulting growth perspectives. Together with management, we will refine the existing product portfolio and provide important impulses for the further international growth of the company.”

“d&b’s outstanding entrepreneurial performance in recent years, especially in terms of its internationalization and product development, has made the company the global number one for professional audio systems,” commented Torsten Krumm, co-head of Odewald & Compagnie. “We are delighted with the positive development of the company and are proud to have made a contribution to the success of d&b today. With Ardian, d&b gains an entrepreneurial new partner to further realize its global growth potential.”