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AVAD Acquired by Private Equity Firm; Former Klipsch/Harman Execs to Lead the Co.

Kingswood Capital Management acquires AVAD, leading distributor of home automation and A/V gear for home-technology integrators, following the sale of parent company Ingram Micro to a Chinese conglomerate.

AVAD Acquired by Private Equity Firm; Former Klipsch/Harman Execs to Lead the Co.
AVAD is a standalone company again, having been divested by Ingram Micro and acquired by private equity firm Kingswood Capital Management. In charge are two former Klipsch execs, Tom Jacoby as CEO and Fred Farrar as president.

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Julie Jacobson · July 5, 2016

AVAD, a leading wholesale distributor for home automation and A/V gear, has been acquired by the private equity firm Kingswood Capital Management. Kingswood picked up AVAD after its parent company Ingram Micro was sold for $6 billion to the Chinese conglomerate Tianjin Tianhai earlier this year.

Ingram Micro, the giant IT distributor with revenues of over $40 billion, had acquired AVAD in 2005 for up to $200 million. Ingram had revenues of $25 billion at the time.

In acquiring AVAD back then, Ingram Micro was jumping on the “convergence” bandwagon. A/V installers were getting into the IT business and vice versa. Ditto with the cross-over between residential and commercial integrators, served by AVAD and Ingram, respectively.

Presumably, Ingram’s huge base of commercial IT dealers would buy up lots of consumer-related electronics from AVAD, while AVAD’s dealers in the residential and light-commercial sector would patronize Ingram Micro for IT-related products and services.

Ultimately, those synergies were probably modest, but AVAD at least did not seem to suffer under Ingram’s authority.

AVAD today operates out of 23 locations in the U.S. and Canada. Back in 2005 when it was acquired, the distributor had 28 offices operated by 12 independent distributors that were loosely affiliated through branding and some shared back-office operations. Revenues then were $210 million across all locations.

Ingram went on in 2007 to acquire DBL Distributing, a distributor of consumer electronics primarily to CE retailers, for about $90 million. In 2010, DBL and AVAD merged to create the Ingram Micro CE Division. AVAD kept its identity. DBL did not.

New AVAD Owners Staying Quiet as Klipsch Guys Take Helm

No information is available at this time about DBL in the Kingswood acquisition. In fact, Kingswood has little to say at all about the acquisition, other than, “Kingswood and its operating team provides AVAD with the executive leadership, operational resources and capital necessary to realize the Company’s long-term strategic goals.”

The PR agency says, “As they are just getting their feet on the ground and communicating with the AVAD team, we don’t yet have additional information to share about the acquisition. We plan to send you updates in the next week or two.”

In a press release issued today, Kingswood named new top executives for AVAD but did not provide any additional information about the execs. We are told that additional information is not be shared at this time.

We do know that Tom Jacoby has been named CEO and Fred Farrar is the new president of AVAD.

Jacoby was CEO of Harman Consumer Group between 1980 and 2000. Later he served as vice chairman and corporate development officer of Klipsch and later as a director of Klipsch group.

Farrar spent two decades as an executive in enterprises related to Klipsch, the audio company now owned by Audiovox. Concurrently, he spent 13 years in the 1990s as CFO of Overhead Door Company, a distributor of garage-door and related products. Farrar oversaw the acquisition of Klipsch in 2011 as EVP of Audiovox. He currently is involved with Chafre, LLC, a “private investment company that includes a publicly traded shell company,” according to his Linkedin profile.

Los Angeles-based Kingswood Capital says it is “operationally focused middle market private equity firm that invests in businesses in transition driven by operational, strategic, financial or market-driven change. In addition to access to capital, Kingswood brings a broad network of operational resources, relevant industry relationships and tailored solutions to strengthen businesses, realize strategic goals and enhance long term value creation.”

Next Page: Press Release

  About the Author

Julie Jacobson is founding editor of CE Pro, the leading media brand for the home-technology channel. She has covered the smart-home industry since 1994, long before there was much of an Internet, let alone an Internet of things. Currently she studies, speaks, writes and rabble-rouses in the areas of home automation, security, networked A/V, wellness-related technology, biophilic design, and the business of home technology. Julie majored in Economics at the University of Michigan, spent a year abroad at Cambridge University, and earned an MBA from the University of Texas at Austin. She is a recipient of the annual CTA TechHome Leadership Award, and a CEDIA Fellows honoree. A washed-up Ultimate Frisbee player, Julie currently resides in San Antonio, Texas and sometimes St. Paul, Minn. Follow on Twitter: @juliejacobson Email Julie at julie.jacobson@emeraldexpo.com

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  Article Topics

Home Theater · News · Products · AVAD · Distributor · Ingram Micro · Mergers and Acquisitions · All Topics
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Posted by jhamill1 on July 6, 2016

Hope this means great things for AVAD. The Nashville location, and Ted Crandall in particular, make many lives much easier and more profitable.

Posted by jhamill1 on July 6, 2016

Hope this means great things for AVAD. The Nashville location, and Ted Crandall in particular, make many lives much easier and more profitable.