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Bosch To Acquire Telex Communications

by FOH Staff • in
  • News
• Created: June 28, 2006

MINNEAPOLIS, MN–Telex Communications Holdings, Inc, of Minneapolis, Minn, announced today that it has signed a definitive merger agreement with a wholly owned subsidiary of Robert Bosch GmbH, according to which Bosch will acquire Telex for $420 million, including the assumption of Telex debt. In pro audio Telex is home to such well-known brands as Electro-Voice, Dynacord, Midas and Klark Teknik. However, a glimpse of things to come may be contained in the following statement from the press release: "If the merger is consummated, Telex will be assigned to and come under the leadership of the Bosch Security Systems division." [Italics ours. –ed.] And, according to a statement by a Bosch Board of Management member Peter J. Marks, this purchase will "enhance [their] worldwide market position as a provider of comprehensive security and communications systems."

This seeming emphasis on security might suggest that audio will not be an important part of the future mix for Bosch, raising fears that the audio divisions will be sold again, or simply neglected. There have been other situations in which those buying a company in this manner and in this industry were concerned first and foremost (if not only) with recouping their investment as quickly as possible, to the neglect of the live audio market. But the history (and some high-up personnel speaking off the record) of the Telex group suggests that this may not be the case this time.

In the official press release Raymond V. Malpocher, CEO of Telex Communications says "Telex is a company with a strong tradition of high quality and customer satisfaction. We believe the acquisition of Telex by Bosch, a forward-looking company, will give our employees and business associates an opportunity to develop further in a growth oriented environment." FOH's sources at Telex say there is a strategic plan in place and that the fact that they are part of the security division of Bosch is nothing more than semantics–it shouldn't be cause for alarm in the audio world.

In fiscal 2005, Telex generated sales of $308 million with nearly 2,000 employees at 14 locations in nine countries. In 2005, Bosch Security Systems generated sales of approximately one billion euros (approximately $1.25 billion, U.S.) from its business with intrusion and fire alarm systems, video surveillance, access control, and communications systems. With some 7,800 associates, the division is represented at more than 40 locations in Europe, the Americas, and Asia Pacific. Bosch is, then, approximately four times the size of Telex, so the Telex debt might not be as big a percentage in this larger company.

So what all this will mean in terms of future direction–including R&D and product development–remains to be seen. Check out the July issue of FOH for some more in-depth examination of this story, as well as some reactions to this from other big names in the industry.

For more info, visit www.telexcommunications.com.

–By Bill Evans

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