Denon/Marantz owner to buy Onkyo and Pioneer's consumer audio business

Sound United, the parent company of Denon and Marantz, has announced plans to snap up the consumer audio division of rival Onkyo Corporation, taking ownership of the Onkyo and Pioneer brands.

'The transaction reflects a continued focus by Sound United to meet consumer demand for the best-sounding and most technologically advanced audio products available,' said a company statement. 'The expanded brand portfolio will allow Sound United to better serve consumers with premium products tailored to their specific needs.'

Sound United also owns the Polk Audio, Classé, Definitive Technology and Boston Acoustics brands, and its CEO Kevin Duffy will become chief of the new, expanded business that will also own the Pioneer Elite and Integra labels.

'We are thrilled by the opportunity to add the venerable Onkyo and Pioneer brands to our portfolio,' said Duffy. 'We believe the combined businesses will bring unrivalled innovation and sound performance to our consumers.'

What the deal will ultimately mean for home cinema shoppers and Onkyo and Pioneer brand fans isn't yet clear. Sound United continues to run Denon and Marantz as separate product lines, albeit with some cross-pollination – most obviously in the implementation of HEOS multiroom functionality and Audyssey EQ in AV receivers. Onkyo Corp's ownership of Pioneer has seen AVRs from the Onkyo and Pioneer stables also sharing features, such as FlareConnect.

But it's not just AVRs – Pioneer's well-regarded UDP-LX500 and UDP-LX800 4K Blu-ray players also fall under the consumer audio division, and will join the Sound United stable. Neither Denon or Marantz has yet launched its own UHD disc spinner.

Sound United said it is keen to invest new products using Onkyo and Pioneer’s 'extensive legacy of innovation.'

'By pairing the world’s best electrical and acoustical engineering talent, Sound United will have the capacity to continue a history of unparalleled product development. This expanded scope will also offer manufacturing efficiencies, expedited development cycles and a combined business better positioned to invest in the future of the premium audio category.'

Official completion of the buyout is expected to be confirmed following 'approvals from regulators and the Onkyo Corporation’s shareholders' at the end of June.