Bang & Olufsen in talks to be acquired by its Chinese distributor Sparkle Roll
26 March 2016
Denmark's luxury consumer electronics maker Bang & Olufsen yesterday said that it is in talks to be acquired by its Chinese distributor Sparkle Roll.
The news sent the company's stock surging by as much as 8 per cent in Copenhagen, giving it a market value of about 3.1 billion kroner ($460 million).
The move comes a year after the struggling company sold its automotive sound-system business to Harman International Industries for around $157.3 million. (See: Bang & Olufsen to sell automotive car audio business to Harman International)
"A condition for making an offer is that we are comfortable it will be possible for us to acquire all shares in Bang & Olufsen at a price we find reasonable, reflecting the potential of the company but also the significant uncertainty and the investments needed to ensure further development and growth" Sparkle Roll chairman, Qi Jianhong, said in a statement that was published by Bang & Olufsen.
Hong Kong-listed Sparkle Roll is a dealer of ultra-luxury goods like cars, watches, jewellery, wines, clothing and cigars in China, and has been a distributor of Bang & Olufsen since 2013.
B&O had early last year announced that it would be open to merge with rivals after it issued a profit warning at the end of 2014 and reported a loss before tax of 803 million crowns for the fiscal year 2014-15.
B&O was founded in 1925 by Peter Bang and Svend Olufsen, two engineers devoted to high quality audio reproduction. Since then, the brand has become an icon of performance and design excellence.
Today, B&O is world renowned for its distinctive range of quality televisions, music systems and high-performance loudspeakers and its products are sold mainly by an extensive, independent retail network across more than 100 countries.
Its largest shareholders are Delta Lloyd Asset Management NV with a 13.4 per cent stake, Danish asset manager ATP Fondsmaeglerselskab A/S with 12.4 per cent, and Qi Jianhong with 5.6 per cent.