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Acquisitions Bolster RCF Group

DPA was bought by RCF in December 2018. PSNEurope’s editor Daniel Gumble talks with RCF CEO Arturo Vicari and DPA CEO Kalle Hvidt Nielsen about their future plans.

London, UK—When Italy’s RCF Group announced in December that it had acquired Danish microphone manufacturer DPA Microphones, the news set tongues wagging. Between that purchase and the recent acquisition of EAW in the United States, the Italian organization increasingly appears to be reframing itself as an all-around audio solutions provider.

“We were looking for another company to add to our roster in order to become one of the biggest audio groups, and we were looking for an excellence that could complete the audio chain,” said RCF Group CEO Arturo Vicari. “Yes, [the microphone market] is indeed new territory for us, but we have been in the audio industry since 1949 and have 70 years of experience and intuition. We knew that we wanted to add a strong, well-known company and that a microphone brand would complete the audio chain. Hence, when we realized that DPA was up for sale, we couldn’t miss out on that opportunity. DPA will fit very well into the RCF Group, and when the two amalgamate, the results will be incredible.

“For sure, this is a big change for the group, and we are now able to be more competitive and offer complete audio solutions,” Vicari added. “The RCF Group has several excellent products to cover all the needs that end users have, from large to small concerts, fixed installations, stadia, churches, et cetera.”

Related: ‘A New Era Has Started’: CEOs Discuss Their Plans for 2019 Post RF Group’s Acquisition of DPA Microphones, by Daniel Gumble, Jan. 11, 2019

Previously owned by private equity firm The Riverside Company, DPA is likely to benefit from the collective wisdom and pro audio experience offered by the RCF Group, which, according to DPA CEO Kalle Hvidt Nielsen, will be an ideal home for the Danish brand: “RCF Group actually focused on advanced ribbon microphone designs back when it was established, so the company does have some background in microphones. They [RCF] have extensive experience in wireless systems, and since microphones for use in these systems are a major part of what DPA does, it seems like a good match. Having in-house knowledge of these systems will enable us to design even better mics for wireless solutions. We believe that we are on the right path with a new and ambitious strategy. RCF Group has the same opinion and plans to support us in developing further in this direction.”

According to both Vicari and Nielsen, the mutual benefits are myriad, while the day-to-day running of DPA will very much be business as usual. “RCF Group’s unique expertise in loudspeaker systems and mixing desks is very complementary to DPA’s world-leading position in high-end microphone systems. Being under the same ownership opens new opportunities for all of us,” said Vicari.

Related: RCF Group to Acquire DPA Microphones, by Clive Young, Dec. 11, 2018

“There are many synergies between the two companies regarding technologies, market segments and geographical coverage,” Nielsen adds. “Together we can offer our customers solutions that cover their needs across the entire audio chain, which is a win-win situation. In addition, having an owner familiar with the pro audio industry makes it easier to discuss the business—its trends, opportunities and challenges—with a long-term goal in mind.”

Nielsen believes that his brand will also be able to make a significant contribution to its new owner’s heft in the marketplace. “We can bring a lot to the RCF group: a Scandinavian mindset, engineering expertise in high-precision microphone capsules, and a worldwide leading position in high-end microphones systems, to name a few,” he states. “We add professional solutions in the first (and most important, we believe) step of the audio chain to RCF Group’s repertoire of solutions.”

Related: RCF Group Acquires EAW, by Clive Young, Sep. 4, 2018

Nielsen noted, “The fact that we can continue our ambitious plan with a professional partner from the pro audio business is a huge advantage. I believe that it will benefit the DPA brand as well as the RCF Group. The only challenge may be that I will have to learn Italian.”

As for Vicari, the new acquisitions of last fall are steps on a longer journey. “RCF Group is constantly looking to grow to become one of the most important in the world,” Vicari concludes. “A new era has started.”

RCF Group •

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