CE Pro 100 Integrator Aurant Closing, But Biz Continues Under New Owner [UPDATED]
Some assets of the $7 million Salt Lake City integrator sold to local competitor S3 Entertainment, which will keep the Aurant brand, hire its employees and service its clients.
Aurant, a high-end home systems integration firm based in Salt Lake City, is closing its doors. This year, the company ranked #23 on the CE Pro 100 list, claiming $6.9 million in residential installations for 2010. With roughly 100 jobs during the year, the average Aurant project came in at about $69,000.
Aurant began business as Audition Audio in 1989. That business was acquired by Michael Pyle in 1996, who merged it the next year with its largest competitor, Audio Design, to form Audition Systems. Pyle went on to found SE2, developer of a mega-control system with all components built into one giant box centered around AMX home automation.
In 2003, Audition changed its name to Aurant, and brought on Jeffrey Anderson, who was named CEO in 2005.
Jeff Anderson became Aurant CEO in 2005.
In May of this year, Anderson – who earlier resigned as a board member of the Home Technology Specialists of America (HTSA) – left Aurant, telling CE Pro he was “starting work on another project.”
[UPDATE] The good news is that S3 Entertainment, a local competitor has purchased the Aurant name and “a few other minor assets,” according to a letter to creditors. S3 president Arthur Mayo tells CE Pro that the company is hiring all of Aurant’s sales and technical staff, taking over Aurant jobs in progress, and servicing all existing clients. The combined company will generate well over $11 million in revenues, according to Mayo.
Here is Aurant’s letter to creditors:
As you may have heard, Audition Systems by Audio Design, L.C., is terminating its business. The company did sell the “Aurant” name and a few minor assets to S3 Entertainment, LLC, a Park City, Utah company who plans on carrying on its business.
Audition Systems by Audio Design will be staying in business for a short time to liquidate and finishing up its remaining jobs. It is hoped that this will result in sufficient funds for payment of its large bank debt, other secured creditors obligations and tax obligations. At that time we will cease business.
We have appreciated our association over the past years and are sorry that this economy has taken another victim.
[UPDATE 2] S3’s Arthur Mayo assures us that “all [Aurant] client deposits are secure” and that S3 plans to continue Aurant’s participation in HTSA. The company is issuing the following press release tomorrow:
S3 Entertainment Acquires Assets of Aurant, Inc.
Sept. 1, 2011 - S3 Entertainment of Park City, Utah, completed the asset purchase of Aurant, Inc. of Salt Lake City on August 22, 2011. The transaction has been in negotiation for months and brings together the two largest Audio Visual companies in Utah.
Two Int’l Award Winning Companies
S3 and Aurant have over 30 years of combined experience in residential and commercial Audio Video, Home Theater, and Automation installations. Both companies are known for their professionalism, customer service, and innovation, and have been recognized with many prestigious industry awards for their design and installation of electronic systems.
Working in the same market space for so many years, the two companies have gained a mutual respect for one another and realize that together they will be even stronger. Arthur Mayo, of S3 Entertainment says, “Each company holds unique knowledge and experience that when combined, will create a new level of service within the industry.”
The combined operations will double the buying power, which will keep prices at a competitive level and open up new purchasing opportunities. New and existing clients will enjoy the benefit of quicker response times thanks to additional full-time service vans in areas they were not previously available. “Our focus is to satisfy our clients by creating the electronic environment they imagine for their home or business. The two companies working together, sharing our knowledge and expertise, will only strengthen our business,” said Danny Moreno of Aurant.
Both S3 and Aurant are confident this new venture will be a winning solution. Each company will continue to operate under their current business name until further notice.
Headquartered in Park City, Utah, S3 is the leading national provider of digital home solutions. S3 creates inspiring solutions for home entertainment, networking and automation needs, integrated together using high-quality products, custom programming and proprietary software systems.
Aurant, Inc. is comprised of a team of trained professionals whose purpose is to integrate lifestyle enhancing technology into discriminating customer’s homes. The company was founded in 1989and delivers innovative and proven technology for intuitive operation of home control and media systems that provide an impressive esthetic impact, intuitive trouble-free operation, and accessible technological sophistication.
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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 firstname.lastname@example.org
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