d&b audiotechnik sold to Ardian investment group

d&B head office in Backnang

D&b audiotechnik CEO Amnon Harman speaks to InAVate following the news that private investment company Ardian is to buy d&b audiotechnik from investment companies Odewald & Compagnie and Cobepa.

Harman confirmed that investment from Ardian will help the company continue on a three-pronged growth strategy: internationalisation, products and innovation and go-to-market.

The global expansion, which particularly targets the Americas and Asia Pacific, will include opening of regional offices. “We will open another office in Asia this spring,” said Harman. “These are the kind of investments we’ll be making for regional expansion.

“The other area for growth is through product and innovation,” he continued. “We are constantly looking to expand our product portfolio. We come from the touring side where we are known and our reputation is high. We now want to expand our installation business.

“Installation is currently about 30% of our overall business and we are looking at not only product development, but also in enabling technologies including network technology, software and anything that helps us to address particular installation segments better with our performance products.”

This strategy was outlined to InAVate in detail by Frank Bothe, the company’s director of R&D in an article that appeared in the Jan/Feb edition of InAVate EMEA.

The final go-to-market strategy will include infrastructure investment and strengthening of the company’s distribution network.

In addition to financial investment, Harman is confident that the company will benefit from Ardian’s global network.

“Ardian are a global company, they have offices in the Americas and Asia,” he explained. “This broad knowledge base opens up some excellent opportunities for us.”

In a press release the company confirmed that as part of the deal the existing management team - CEO Amnon Harman (CEO), Markus Strohmeier (MD, technology and operations), Frank Bothe (director R&D), Kay Lange (director finance), Hans-Peter Nüdling (director sales & services) and Sabina Berloffa (director marketing) - are also taking a stake in the company.

The parties have agreed not to reveal details of the transaction, and the conclusion of the transaction is still subject to approval by the relevant antitrust authorities.

Since the company’s acquisition by Odewald & Compagnie and COBEPA in 2011, sales have more than doubled from €44 million to €94 million in the financial year 2015. The number of employees has risen from 200 in 2011 to around 350 today.