Highlander Partners, L.P., a private investment firm, has announced the acquisition of McIntosh Group through a newly-formed holding company (“the Group” or “the Company”).
McIntosh Group has been a leader in the audio category for decades and today it manufactures and distributes its amplifiers, speakers, turntables, and other audio products under several brands around the globe.
“McIntosh Group sits at the intersection of several strong trends that we are eager to be a part of. The residential environment is rapidly evolving, with technology becoming an integral component throughout the home. Moreover, consumers across the demographic spectrum are demanding high fidelity audio now more than ever, and premium brands such as McIntosh and Sonus Faber are increasingly viewed as functional pieces of art,” says Ben Slater, partner at Highlander.
The Group is anchored by the McIntosh brand. Since 1949, McIntosh amplifiers have been engineered and handcrafted in Binghamton, New York, and its products have been used at events ranging from presidential inaugurations to Woodstock ‘69.
McIntosh amps are globally renowned both for their iconic signature design—classic tubes, knobs, and blue metered faceplate—as well as their audio quality.
The Group also features Sonus Faber, a luxury designer, and manufacturer of premium speakers. Based in Vicenza, Italy, the brand’s heritage centers around its artisans’ craftsmanship, which leads to the creation of elegant audio products.
Sonus Faber offers a range of products spanning from masterfully designed loudspeakers to custom-installed solutions and wireless streaming speakers. Like McIntosh, Sonus Faber blends design and innovation to create superior technological products that are also works of art, revered by audiophiles and design-minded consumers alike.
In addition, McIntosh Group provides fully integrated distribution services across North America, Central and South America, the United Kingdom, and Benelux for their owned brands, as well as several third-party brands including Pro-Ject (premium turntables), Rotel (premium amplifiers and electronics), and Bassocontinuo (Italian-crafted audio racks).
The Group also includes automotive entertainment business, providing audio technology for select premium models, including the Grand Wagoneer and Jeep Grand Cherokee L under the McIntosh brand and the Maserati Grecale and MC20 under Sonus Faber.
“We have been evolving our investment strategy around consumer-focused brands and luxury goods over several years. The opportunity to acquire brands as strong as those within the McIntosh Group does not come often and we are very excited to be part of the Company’s next chapter,” comments Jeff L. Hull, president and CEO, Highlander Partners.
“We believe there is a unique opportunity to acquire other consumer luxury technology brands and intend to stay active in the category.”
Lincoln International LLC acted as financial advisor, and Shearman & Sterling LLP served as legal counsel for the McIntosh Group. Highlander Partners was represented by Katten Muchin Rosenman LLP as legal counsel.
“We are thrilled to continue to pursue our growth trajectory alongside the Highlander team. Across all brands and product categories we continue to see remarkable results and an excess of opportunity; we believe Highlander’s financial approach and operational expertise can help seize these prospects,” adds Jeff Poggi and Charles Randall, co-CEOs of the McIntosh Group.