Logitech Acquires Jaybird

April 14, 2016

12 Apr - In what is some big news in the portable audio domain, Logitech is acquiring Jaybird for USD 50 million in cold hard cash, with an addition earning of up to USD 45 million based on certain growth targets in the next 2 years.

BackgroundCreated in 2006, Jaybird has grown to be a leader in sports wireless audio as referenced by being a top five brand in the premium headphone segment in 2014, according to The NPD Group.

Logitech themselves are no strangers to audio, having acquired Ultimate Ears, the specialist brand in custom in-ear monitors (CIEMs), back in 2008.

What's the Big Deal?
1. Symbiotic Relationship
Logitech has lots of experience in developing products, a lure for Jaybird. Judd Armstrong, CEO of Jaybird, concurs and mentioned that "Jaybird will benefit from Logitech's global distribution network and deep engineering prowess." Logitech's CEO, Bracken Darrell, returned the favor and acknowledged Jaybird's "strong brand and sports expertise".

2. Jaybird Brand Intact
Yup, the Jaybird brand will supposedly remain. If that's the case, then there won't be an unfortunate scenario where an up and coming brand just dissolves into thin air. Want examples? Think of the mobile phone sector where Nokia was gobbled by Microsoft. Think of HP taking over Palm only to squash the brand within 2 years. We see the Jaybird acquisition closer to how Lenovo took over the ThinkPad laptop business...and thank goodness for that.

3. Evolution of Products?
What remains to be seen is what will happen to the product range that Jaybird produces. To take an example, Ultimate Ears is well known for custom IEMs. However, the sub-brand appears to be veering away from earphone legacy to establish itself in the portable speaker category such as the UE Boom 2 and Megaboom. Will the same happen to Jaybird? Let's sit back and find out.

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