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Audio Suppliers Naim, Focal Merge

8/19/2011 12:17:35 PM Eastern
Saint-Etienne, France - Speaker maker Focal and audio electronics maker Naim are merging their businesses to bolster their R&D capabilities and build market share, the companies announced.

"For future success, the key point is that there is no future for a speaker or electronic company alone," said Focal founder and chairman Jacques Mahul. "Partnership and collaboration are the way forward both in terms of investment and R&D. Working together means you can go more quickly and successfully whilst remaining true to the respective brands."

The merged company, called Focal & Co., will own and manage Focal and Naim as independent brands to retain their product philosophies, with each brand continuing to be run independently by their respective management teams, the company said in a written statement. Both brands focus on music reproduction through high-end components.

Mahul, long-time Focal investor CM-CIC Capital Finance, and the Focal and Naim management teams will own the merged entity, which will continue to employ 325 people at the Focal facilities in Saint-Etienee and Naim's facilities in Salisbury, U.K. Their combined sales exceed 55 million euros, or $79.2 million, with Focal contributing $50.4 million and Naim contributing $28.8 million.

"We can achieve far more together than would have been possible alone, yet at the same time we are able to retain everything that is unique about Naim/Focal and everything that our customers love us for," the company's statement said. "This is all about growth -- not about finding financial synergies. The merger in fact means we are able to increase our investment in people and R&D to help us accelerate both brands."

 Naim "has enjoyed successive years of strong growth and is a very successful company in its own right," the statement added.

Focal markets high-end home and aftermarket car speakers, pro audio speakers, and automotive OEM speakers, Naim markets amplifiers, CD players, home speakers, a HDD music-storage device and other home audio electronics.

Both brands are sold in Europe, Asia and the U.S., and the company said it would capitalize on new opportunities to bring the brands to new geographic markets.

"We are both proud European businesses with a strong history, and this merger will allow both brands to march forward with the confidence and resources needed for the future," said Christophe Sicaud, president of Focal & Co.

Added Focal & Co. board member Gerard Chretien, "More and more people are listening to music and are appreciating high quality sound. That is not only great news but also creates huge opportunities for our two brands. This new partnership will help both Focal and Naim make the very most of these opportunities."
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