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Yamaha Merges U.S. Audio, Music Units

2/13/2012 12:01:00 AM Eastern

SHIZUOKA, JAPAN – Yamaha’s board approved
a merger, effective April 1, of its U.S. home-audio
subsidiary with its U.S.-based musical instruments
and pro audio subsidiary.

But Yamaha said the merged entity has no plans
to merge sales or rep forces and has “the objectives
of realizing maximum synergies and increasing
management efficiency, principally in administrative
business processes, by implementing
closely coordinated sales and marketing of musical
instruments and A/V [home audio] products.”

The home business, called Yamaha Electronics
Corp. (YEC) USA, will become part of the larger
Yamaha Corp. of America (YCA), which not only
markets musical instruments and pro audio equipment
but also manages music schools. YCA will
continue to be headed by president Takuya Nakata.
Tom Sumner, who is both YEC president and
YCA senior VP, will retain his YCA senior VP title.

Both subsidiaries are located in Buena Park,
Calif. YEC has 39 employees, and YCA has 335.

The merger “mirrors Yamaha’s structure in other
parts of the world” and follows mergers in recent
years of Yamaha’s home audio and musical instruments/
pro audio subsidiaries in the U.K. and Europe,
Sumner told TWICE.

Though YEC will become a part of YCA, many
YEC functions have already been transferred to
YCA over the past several years, including the
parts and service department and accounting, he
noted.

As a result, Yamaha will gain only “some small
financial advantages” with the merger, including
less accounting and tax paperwork, he said.

Within the merged entity, home audio sales,
marketing, credit, and consumer and dealer support
will remain separate because the sales channels
for home and musical instruments, and pro
audio “are really different channels,” Sumner said.

Nonetheless, some YEC products, such as
headphones, cross over into the pro and musical
instruments category, and a handful of music dealers
have begun to sell two-channel home audio
equipment for use in home studios.

(For information on Yamaha’s most recent
financial, see the Japanese CE story.)