Struggling headphone company Plantronics, which in 2005 acquired Altec Lansing for $130 million, has finally quit the brand for a mere $20 million after struggling to grow the company off the back of big demand for iPod attach devices similar to what Altec Lansing manufacture.Plantronics, who has struggled in the headphone market despite the growth of call centres and the mobile phone market, is taking on board over $25 million in debt.
Plantronics said that it has entered into a definitive agreement to sell Altec Lansing, the Audio Entertainment Group (AEG) of Plantronics, to Prophet Equity, a Texas-based private equity firm, for $20 million in cash but would be retaining all liabilities for the sound Company.
The sale price is $110 million less than what Plantronics paid for the business in 2005.
In Australia, Altec Lansing will establish its own sales office under the stewardship of Chris Brown, who will transition to Altec Lansing from his role as Plantronics National Retail Sales Manager. Effective immediately, Amber Technologies will also take on the role of master distributor for Altec Lansing in Australia.
Plantronics has also announced that Cellnet has been appointed as a new distributor in Australia. The agreement will see Cellnet join existing Plantronics partners Amber Technology, Anyware and Roadhound Electronics.