Newark, CA (July 31, 2018)—Tech accessory manufacturer Logitech International has announced plans to acquire Westlake Village, CA-based Blue Microphones from private equity firm The Riverside Company for roughly $117 million in cash.
Founded in 1995, Blue quickly made a name for itself with a number of studio-grade professional microphones, and debuted the first USB mic in 2005; today, it offers more than 30 different products for both consumers and professionals, including headphones and numerous accessories for mics. In 2013, the Riverside Company acquired Blue from another private equity firm, Transom Capital, for an undisclosed amount.
“Blue’s already-premier consumer brand and innovative product offering were very attractive upon our initial investment,” said Riverside managing partner Loren Schlachet. “Working with a stellar management team, we were able to help Blue’s annual sales grow in excess of 20 percent and increase earnings nearly four times under Riverside’s ownership.” During its tenure with Riverside, Blue expanded its footprint in broadcast, gaming, game streaming and eSports applications.
“With Logitech’s vast resources and incredible reach, Blue will be on a much bigger stage from the beginning. The end result is fulfilling our ultimate purpose—helping as many of our users find and amplify their voice as we can,” said Blue CEO John Maier. “Blue and Logitech have a lot in common. Both companies work at being small, fast and hungry, crafting great products with cutting-edge design and technology. We’re an established leader in the broadcasting space with a strong product portfolio. Logitech has design at its heart, tech know-how and global reach. Together we can do amazing things.”
The sale to Logitech is in keeping with the personal computer and mobile accessory manufacturer’s history of M&A, and it’s not Logitech’s first move into Pro Audio either, having acquired Ultimate Ears (Irvine, CA) for $34 million in cash in August, 2008. Blue, too, has done its share of acquisition over the years, having bought Summit Audio in April, 2011, later handing off much of the brand’s management to JMP Electronics in late 2016.
Logitech’s CEO, Bracken Darrell, said in a statement that the acquisition will “accelerate our entry into a growing market, and offers another way for us to help bring people’s passions (from music to blogging) to life” while noting the brands’ “additional synergies related to our existing gaming, PC webcam and audio categories.”
The transaction, which will close by the end of August 2018, is expected to contribute a point of sales growth for Logitech’s Fiscal Year 2019. Based on the strong performance in Q1 and the acquisition of Blue Microphones, Logitech raised its Fiscal Year 2019 outlook today to 9 to 11 percent sales growth in constant currency.
Blue • www.bluedesigns.com
Logitech • www.logitech.com