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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.)
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