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Audio Suppliers Naim, Focal Merge

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.”