RØDE Acquires Pro Audio Leader Mackie

RØDE Microphones LLC has today announced the acquisition of iconic American pro audio leader Mackie. The acquisition represents a new chapter in the evolution of RØDE and establishes The Freedman Group – parent company of RØDE – as one of the most well-rounded pro audio companies in the world, with an enviable catalogue of products spanning a wide range of audio solutions for content creation, home and studio recording, broadcast, and live sound production.

“I am absolutely thrilled to welcome Mackie to The Freedman Group’s roster of iconic audio brands,” says Founder and Chairman Peter Freedman AM. “They are true legends, with a pedigree of live sound expertise that is simply unmatched. Today, RØDE and Mackie are both leaders in audio, and we share the same passion for creating innovative, high-quality products with a strong customer focus. With this acquisition, The Freedman Group is now a premier audio technology company offering world-class products to an even wider range of customers, from up-and-coming content creators to professionals working in live production and everyone in-between.”

Since 1989, Mackie has been a leading designer and manufacturer of pro audio products, including mixers and loudspeakers for home, studio and stage use. An integral player in the home recording revolution in the 1990s, Mackie quickly made a name for itself as a highly innovative brand with a focus on ‘built-like-a-tank’ quality and affordability. Groundbreaking products like the 1602 and D8B mixers and SRM450 loudspeaker were instant classics and, combined with a unique approach to marketing, established Mackie as a go-to brand in the recording and live sound industries – a status they uphold today with leading products like the ProFX series of compact mixers, the Thump series of powered loudspeakers, and the popular CR series of desktop production monitors.

“Mackie is one of the great success stories in pro audio and I have admired them for a long time,” says Mr Freedman. “My background is in live sound production. It’s something I have always been passionate about, ever since I saw Tom Jones at the Chevron Hotel in Sydney as a kid back in ’69 – my father Henry installed the sound system there, as well as many other venues across the city. Live sound is where I cut my teeth in audio, so this very much feels like that part of my career coming full circle.”

He continues: “Having met Greg Mackie before I even started RØDE, I found his passion for audio and approach to business inspiring. Their origin story is uncannily similar to ours. Both brands helped fuel the democratisation of DIY recording in their own way, Mackie with their mixers and speakers and RØDE with our microphones. We shared a similar path and today both brands are leaders in what we do, so I am incredibly excited to bring these two audio icons together.”

Speaking about the acquisition, Alex Nelson, CEO of Mackie says: “The entire Mackie team is excited to be joining forces with Peter, Damien and their incredible crew. Having worked in the audio industry for many years, I have always held RØDE in high esteem. Their manufacturing capability and technology leadership is second-to-none in pro audio and I think they are the perfect partner to help Mackie expand as we enter an exciting new chapter in our history. Also, the timing could not be better. We have an incredible product roadmap ahead of us, which we’ll be making some big announcements for leading up to NAMM ’24. This is an extremely exciting time for Mackie, and we couldn’t be happier doing all of this alongside the RØDE team.”

Greg Mackie, founder of Mackie and audio industry legend, shares a similar sentiment, saying: “I can’t think of a better company for Mackie to be associated with than RØDE”.

“RØDE and Mackie are incredibly harmonious brands,” says Freedman Group CEO Damien Wilson. “This acquisition diversifies our product offering in a very complementary way. We now offer end-to-end audio solutions for everyone from musicians setting up a home studio to professional live sound engineers. Whilst Mackie’s brand, manufacturing and operations will remain unchanged, there are incredible opportunities to combine the complementary IP, infrastructure and resources of both brands in powerful ways. I am very excited about the potential this offers RØDE and Mackie.”

Commenting for RØDE Microphones LLC, Joe Hockey says: “This acquisition offers powerful growth opportunities for RØDE and is a significant milestone in their global expansion. It is exciting to see RØDE continue to invest in their future, and I am looking forward seeing the ongoing success of these two legendary brands.”

Legal counsel for RØDE was provided by Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom and Gilbert + Tobin, with financial advisory from PwC. Funding was provided by Amicaa & Carlyle, with legal counsel from Baker McKenzie. Seller Transom Capital Group received legal counsel from Kirkland & Ellis and financial advisory from Lincoln International.

“It has been our pleasure to work with the Mackie leadership team over the past several years,” says Russ Roenick, Managing Partner for Transom. “Their spirit of innovation, customer-facing approach, and overall drive for excellence has built a company culture that is unparalleled. I wish the team continued success as it takes the next step in its journey alongside the outstanding team from RØDE.”