Premium home audio equipment resource Sound United announced Friday that it is the early stages of a bid to acquire acclaimed U.K. speaker company Bowers & Wilkins.

In a statement, Sound United, which has previously acquired premium audio brands including Polk Audio, Definitive, Boston Acoustics, Denon, Marantz and Classe Audio, said it has filed a preliminary letter of intent to acquire the prestigious speaker company for its growing stable of premium home audio brands.

“Over the course of five decades Bowers & Wilkins built one of the most prestigious brands in the global speaker market with industry-leading acoustical engineering, iconic design and marketing, B&W is a transformative brand and we look forward to the opportunity to finalize the transaction. This reflects Sound United’s unwavering focus to achieve its mission of bringing joy to the world through sound,” stated Kevin Duffy, Sound United CEO, said in a statement.

B&W later issued a statement adding that the status of the transaction remains subject to ongoing discussions, confirmatory diligence, regulatory approvals, and other required consents.

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Bowers & Wilkins and Sound United were said to be exploring the consolidation of their premium brands “into a new group offering even better consumer opportunities. If our discussions are successful, combining Bowers & Wilkins’ engineering and manufacturing expertise in the premium category with the breadth of resources and capability of Sound United could certainly be a transformative step for both brands. It would allow the Bowers & Wilkins team even greater opportunities to focus on what we do best – building the industry’s finest loudspeakers,” Geoff Edwards, B&W CEO, said in a statement.

Under the terms being explored Sound United would acquire all worldwide third-party distribution and licensing agreements under which Bowers & Wilkins premium audio products are currently sold. The existing Bowers & Wilkins global operations, product portfolio and any other products Bowers & Wilkins currently distributes are not affected.

It should be pointed out that not all of Sound United’s intended acquisitions have gone as expected. Last year about this same time, Sound United attempted to acquire Onkyo Corp’s consumer audio division and a stable of brands including Onkyo, Integra and Pioneer along with certain distribution rights before the deal was called off in October for failing to meet unspecified “closing conditions.”

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By Greg Tarr

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