Bowers & Wilkins bought-out by unknown US start-up

Is B&W set for a smart home future?

by Mark Hodgkinson May 5, 2016 at 6:06 PM

  • Hi-Fi News


    Bowers & Wilkins bought-out by unknown US start-up
    Renowned British audio manufacturers, Bowers and Wilkins (B&W) are selling out to a US start-up company who have yet to sell a single product.
    The company in question goes by the name Eva Automation, who are based in Silicon Valley, and founded by the former chief financial officer of Facebook, Gideon Yu. According to the Eva Automation website, the company is involved with, “making products that will change how people interact and think about the home,” so it’s a smart home company and a good bet they want B&W to produce a multi-room audio system of some kind.

    Joe Atkins, the chief executive officer of Bowers & Wilkins and majority shareholder for the last 30 years, will sell his shares to Eva for an undisclosed sum but both parties conceded that the structure of the deal was unusual. You would normally expect the more established, and much larger, company to be the one performing any buy-outs.

    It will take some explaining,” said Atkins. “I think when the verdict comes back, it will be clear that this is exactly what Bowers & Wilkins should be doing.”

    Atkins is to become CEO of the newly combined company, with Yu as executive chairman, and the name Eva will be jettisoned in favour of Bowers & Wilkins which clearly has more of a consumer recognition factor.

    It has been promised that none of the 1,100 currently working for B&W are in danger of losing their jobs with the forty, or so, Eva employees also under no threat either.

    Interesting times lay ahead...

    Source: Bloomberg

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