Investment Firm Highlander Partners Announces the Acquisition of McIntosh Group, a Leader in Premium Consumer Audio Technology
McIntosh Group will serve as anchor for new Highlander luxury technology platform
Highlander Partners, L.P. (“Highlander”), a leading private investment firm, today announced the acquisition of McIntosh Group, through a newly-formed holding company (“the Group” or “the Company”). McIntosh Group has been a leader and innovator in the high-end audio category for decades and today manufactures and globally distributes the world’s finest amplifiers, speakers, turntables and other audio products under several renowned brands. The Company is driven by its dedication to quality performance, sophisticated technology, refined design, and artisan manufacturing. These tenets have resulted in brands known for incomparable design, product quality and consumer experiences.
The Group is anchored by the legendary McIntosh brand. Since 1949, McIntosh amplifiers have been engineered and handcrafted in Binghamton, New York and have undergone an incredible history, having powered events ranging from presidential inaugurations to Woodstock ’69. McIntosh amps are globally renowned both for their iconic signature design – classic tubes, knobs and the beloved blue metered faceplate – as well as their unparalleled, powerful audio quality.
The Group also features Sonus Faber, a luxury designer and manufacturer of premium speakers. Based in Vicenza, Italy, the brand’s heritage centers around its artisans’ craftsmanship, which leads to the creation of the most world’s most elegant audio products. Sonus Faber offers a range of products spanning from masterfully designed loudspeakers to custom installed solutions and cutting-edge wireless streaming speakers. Like McIntosh, Sonus Faber blends design and innovation to create superior technological products that are also works of art, revered by audiophiles and design-minded consumers alike.
In addition, McIntosh Group provides fully integrated distribution services across North America, Central and South America, the United Kingdom, and Benelux for their owned brands as well as several third-party brands including Pro-Ject (premium turntables), Rotel (premium amplifiers and electronics), and Bassocontinuo (Italian-crafted audio racks). The Group also boasts a thriving automotive entertainment business, providing audio technology for select premium models, including the Grand Wagoneer and Jeep Grand Cherokee L under the McIntosh brand and the Maserati Grecale and MC20 under Sonus Faber.
Jeff L. Hull, Highlander Partners President and CEO commented, “We have been evolving our investment strategy around consumer-focused brands and luxury goods over several years. The opportunity to acquire brands as strong as those within the McIntosh Group does not come often and we are very excited to be part of the Company’s next chapter. We believe there is a unique opportunity to acquire other consumer luxury technology brands and intend to stay active in the category.”
Jeff Poggi and Charles Randall, co-CEOs of the McIntosh Group commented, “We are thrilled to continue to pursue our growth trajectory alongside the Highlander team. Across all brands and product categories we continue to see remarkable results and an excess of opportunity; we believe Highlander’s financial approach and operational expertise can help seize these prospects.”
Ben Slater, Partner at Highlander added, “McIntosh Group sits at the intersection of several strong trends that we are eager to be a part of. The residential environment is rapidly evolving, with technology becoming an integral component throughout the home. Moreover, consumers across the demographic spectrum are demanding high fidelity audio now more than ever, and premium brands such as McIntosh and Sonus Faber are increasingly viewed as functional pieces of art.”
Lincoln International LLC acted as financial advisor, and Shearman & Sterling LLP served as legal counsel for the McIntosh Group. Highlander Partners was represented by Katten Muchin Rosenman LLP as legal counsel.
McIntosh Group is a leading designer, manufacturer, and marketer of high-end home audio equipment worldwide. The Company offers a broad suite of premium audio products across multiple brands, catering to a highly loyal base of audio enthusiasts and music lovers. The common denominator of all the McIntosh Group brands is the goal of bringing sound to life through quality products built to perform. McIntosh Group strives to ensure the long-term development of each of its brands in keeping with their identity, their heritage, and their expertise. For more information, visit www.mcintoshgroup.com.
Highlander Partners, L.P. is a Dallas-based private investment firm with more than $2 billion of its own proprietary capital. The firm focuses on making investments in businesses in targeted industries in which the principals of the firm have significant operating and investing experience. Highlander Partners employs a buy and build investment approach, creating value by helping companies grow both organically and through acquisitions. For more information, visit www.highlander-partners.com.
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SOURCE Highlander Partners, L.P.
Emotive.io Acquires Bloom Digital and Launches Emotive Attribution, Expanding Its All-in-One Growth Platform for eCommerce Brands
The Ecommerce leader will now be able to offer further resources to brands and launch a new product: Emotive Attribution
LOS ANGELES, May 19, 2023 — Emotive.io, the leading all-in-one growth platform for eCommerce brands, is excited to announce its recent acquisition of Bloom Digital, a renowned marketing agency specializing in SMS marketing, email marketing, and paid advertising. This strategic acquisition strengthens Emotive.io’s position as a comprehensive solution for eCommerce growth and enables the launch of a new product, Emotive Attribution, aimed at helping merchants optimize their marketing spend across all channels using a first-party pixel.
Founded in 2020 by Danielle Hixenbaugh, Bloom Digital Agency has quickly gained recognition for its customer-centric approach and results-driven strategies. As an anti-agency marketing agency, Bloom Digital puts people first and focuses on finding tailored solutions that align with clients’ goals, delivering tangible and profitable results.
“Our agency’s mission was always to revolutionize e-commerce marketing with top-notch strategies, reporting, and performance,” said Danielle, owner of Bloom. “Emotive’s goal is to be the ultimate solution for DTC brands looking to expand and scale. By joining forces, we’re poised to become the all-in-one tool that e-commerce business owners have been longing for.”
Emotive.io, originally founded in 2018 as an SMS platform for eCommerce brands, has recently expanded its offerings with two new product lines for 2023. Emotive Attribution is a groundbreaking addition to the platform, providing marketers with a comprehensive view of all marketing channel performance (Meta, Google, Snap, TikTok, SMS, Email, Pinterest, affiliate, and many more) in one centralized location. Leveraging a first-party pixel, attribution model comparisons, and conversion journey insights, Emotive Attribution equips merchants with robust tracking capabilities in the post iOS16 world, enabling them to optimize their marketing spend and drive better results using first-party data.
Furthermore, with the acquisition of Bloom, Emotive.io also introduces Emotive Services, an extension of the agency’s expertise in SMS, email, and advertising revenue growth for eCommerce brands. Since its launch in Q4 of 2022, Emotive Services has rapidly grown into a 7-figure business line for Emotive.io, further expanding the platform’s capabilities and providing merchants with a dedicated partner to drive revenue growth across multiple marketing channels.
“We are thrilled to welcome Bloom Digital to Emotive and launch Emotive Attribution as part of our all-in-one growth platform for eCommerce brands,” said Brian Zatulove, CEO of Emotive.io. “This strategic acquisition and product expansion will enable us to provide even more comprehensive and effective solutions for eCommerce merchants, helping them grow throughout the entire funnel.”
With the acquisition of Bloom Digital and the launch of Emotive Attribution and Emotive Services, Emotive.io solidifies its position as the go-to partner for eCommerce brands seeking to elevate their marketing efforts and achieve outstanding results.
Emotive Services and Emotive Attribution are available now. To learn more about the platform, or to request a demo, visit https://emotive.io/
Emotive.io is an all-in-one growth platform for eCommerce brands, providing innovative solutions for SMS marketing, email marketing, advertising, and attribution. With its user-friendly platform and data-driven approach, Emotive.io helps eCommerce merchants optimize their marketing strategies, drive revenue growth, and build lasting customer relationships. For more information, visit www.emotive.io.
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BlueAlly Acquires Corporate Armor Strengthening Online Presence & Expanding Vendor Alliances
BlueAlly Technology Solutions, a Source Capital portfolio company, has announced its acquisition of Corporate Armor, a leading supplier of technology, security, and infrastructure products. This strategic move enhances the scope of services and product offerings for clients, while strengthening BlueAlly’s market position.
The acquisition of Corporate Armor, founded in 2011, adds an experienced team and vast selection of security, wireless, and data storage products to the BlueAlly offering. Corporate Armor’s dedication to providing best-in-class products to IT departments and service providers nationally, combined with their team’s expertise in data center, network, and cloud security, makes it a valuable addition to the BlueAlly Technology Solutions family.
The CEO of BlueAlly Technology Solutions, George Barkley, expressed his confidence in the Corporate Armor team, stating, “By integrating Corporate Armor into BlueAlly, we add substantial ecommerce and client service experience to our existing competence. This acquisition furthers our commitment to the strategy of re-inventing the Value-Added Reseller model. By innovating and bringing the best minds in the industry together, we have created something even better for clients—tangible value.”
CEO and President of Corporate Armor, Luke Walling, also shared his enthusiasm, saying, “We are excited to join forces with BlueAlly as we share a common vision. Together we look forward to creating and delivering solutions that delight our clients. As a unified team, we are now bigger, better and faster than we would be apart.”
As BlueAlly Technology Solutions and Corporate Armor move forward together, they will continue to focus on providing superior quality products, expert consultation, and excellent client service. The integration of Corporate Armor into BlueAlly Technology Solutions’ existing portfolio will offer clients even greater value and a more comprehensive range of IT solutions to meet their ever-evolving needs.
For more information about the acquisition and how it will benefit customers, please visit BlueAlly.com or contact Jonathan Berger, BlueAlly CMO.
About BlueAlly Technology Solutions:
BlueAlly Technology Solutions, headquartered in Cary, NC, has been delivering comprehensive IT solutions to businesses of all sizes, government entities, educational institutions, and regulated industries nationwide since 1999. The company is focused on security governance & compliance, cloud & infrastructure, and application & automation, and offers consulting and managed services in these solution categories.
About Corporate Armor:
Corporate Armor is a leading supplier of technology, security, and infrastructure products, offering one of the largest curated selections online. With a focus on superior quality, expert consultation, and exceptional client service, Corporate Armor delivers a white-glove experience, removing pain and complexity, and serving the needs of organizations across all industries.
About Source Capital:
Source Capital is a private equity firm that invests in mature, middle-market companies across a range of industries. Source Capital’s investment strategy targets growing companies with greater than $2 million in EBITDA seeking a growth-oriented partner. Source Capital was founded in 2002 and has offices in Atlanta and San Francisco.
Voices acquires Voices.ai, a next generation developer platform for voice applications
Voices, the world’s leading voice over marketplace, has acquired Voices.ai and aims to launch the next generation software development platform for voice applications.
A developer platform is a set of tools, services, and resources that facilitate software development and empower developers to create, test, and deploy applications, products, or services. The Voices.ai developer platform will include APIs (Application Programming Interfaces), libraries, frameworks, documentation, tutorials, and cloud infrastructure services.
A recent poll of Voices customers found that 40% have used AI voices in the past, and another 60% said they would consider doing so in the future. Further, Voices has experienced a surge in voice over jobs in the voice assistant category, seeing an increase of 440% year-over-year.
David Ciccarelli, CEO and Founder of Voices recognizes the differences between a natural voice and digitally generated ones. “While there will always be a place for voice actors who bring their unique interpretation to a script and create character voices, there are many applications that don’t require artistic interpretation,” says Ciccarelli. “These applications, traditionally known as industrials, are a perfect fit for synthetic voices, more commonly referred to as AI voices.”
Ciccarelli states that short, informative and dynamically changing content are best suited for AI voices. These include urgent public service announcements, improvements to turn-by-turn directions, or eLearning modules that require ongoing updates.
“The reality is that many applications would benefit from AI generated voices in real-time rather than rely on recordings done by voice talent. Especially when the content changes frequently, having access to voices created instantly offers a benefit not previously realized.”
Voices is the world’s #1 voice marketplace, with over 4 million registered users. Since 2005, the biggest and most beloved brands have entrusted Voices to help them find professionals to bring their projects to life. Voices helps match clients with voice over professionals in over 160 countries and 100+ languages and dialects.
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