The headphones industry hasn’t had news this big since the Apple/Beats announcement.
Incipio, an audio and CE accessory manufacturer, announced this morning it will acquire Skullcandy and its Astro Gaming brand in a $177 million cash deal, or $5.75 per share. The deal has been approved by both companies’ boards of directors and is expected to close in the third quarter.
Incipio also includes the Incase, Braven Audio, ClamCase and Tavik brands under its umbrella. Skullcandy employees will be joining Incipio, an Incipio spokeswoman told TWICE, but Skullcandy will also retain its offices and headquarters in Park City, Utah.
Hoby Darling, Skullcandy president/CEO, said the deal is in the best interest of the company and its shareholders, noting that the two companies “share a common culture, vision and commitment to driving innovation.”
Skullcandy was the No. 1 headphones brand in the U.S. in terms of unit sales from June 2015 through May 2016, according to The NPD Group. In terms of dollar sales, it was the No. 5 brand from March 2015 through March 2016, bested by Beats, Bose, LG and Sony.
Ben Arnold, executive director and industry analyst of consumer electronics at NPD, noted that this partnership could provide Skullcandy with further inroads into mobile carrier retailers, a segment he said is enhancing its focus on the audio industry. Such inroads would also provide some differentiation and new opportunities from the big-box retailers selling Skullcandy products.
The merger comes on the heels of several similar CE accessories acquisitions, including Logitech purchasing Jaybird, Homedics purchasing SOL Republic, and Zagg combining with Mophie. When asked if we can expect to see further such consolidation in the extremely crowded headphones market, Arnold said he thought there was a good chance of it.
“One thing I think [these acquisitions] say about music listening and audio products is that they’re very close to mobile [phones]. That’s the way we listen to music, and there’s a lot of adjacency between headphones and wireless speakers and mobile phone cases and power products. They’re all in the same family tree.”