STORMAUDIO SEPARATES FROM AURO TECHNOLOGIES IN MBO
Immersive Audio Technologies Group Purchases StormAudio / Home Entertainment and Luxury Audio Product Division from Auro Technologies via a Management Buyout Supervised by its Senior VP Yves Trélohan
Yves Trélohan, Key Managers and Saffelberg Investments have purchased Auro Technologies’ Home Entertainment and Luxury Audio Product Division. This encompasses the StormAudio hardware brand, its intellectual properties, infrastructure and inventory, all now hosted in a dedicated new company, Immersive Audio Technologies Group. The move grants StormAudio complete autonomy in all aspects of brand management as it gains momentum in the CEDIA channel worldwide. It also allows Auro to focus unencumberedly on its long-term vision of innovation and software for connected, immersive and interactive audio and entertainment.
Mol, Belgium – December 4, 2017 – This month, StormAudio, the high-end immersive hardware brand owned by Auro Technologies, has been purchased by Immersive Audio Technologies Group. Yves Trélohan has organized the Management Buyout with the support of Saffelberg Investments. Trélohan has served as Auro Technologies’ Home Entertainment and Luxury Audio Product Division (StormAudio) Senior Vice President since the company first acquired the brand from Digital Media Solutions in 2015, a company he was Chief Executive Officer of at the time.
Trélohan has been steering the StormAudio product development and global sales for more than 5 years. He orchestrated the acquisition of StormAudio/HELAP along with Brussels-based Saffelberg Investments as partner, via a new dedicated company Immersive Audio Technologies Group, of which he is Managing Director, Shareholder and Board Member. Immersive Audio Technologies will use its Nantes, France facility as global headquarters for sales, marketing, R&D and manufacturing, along with StormAudio’s existing Novato, California North American sales, marketing and dealer support subsidiary and Hong-Kong sales and service support center.
“I’m excited about this acquisition for many reasons,” says Trélohan. “The response from the channel is that we’ve demonstrated technological superiority with the StormAudio product line. This has required both continuous hard work and expenditures on the product development side. The strong financial support provided by Saffelberg Investments will hugely benefit our StormAudio brand expansion as we set our sights on taking the brand to the #1 position in the luxury immersive audio hardware category. Whilst we maintain a great relationship with Auro, we are also excited about working more closely on technical and marketing initiatives with Dolby and DTS. For our dealers and distributors, we are committed to full sales, technical, and product development support, including full presence at CES, ISE and CEDIA Expos and many regional tradeshows around the world.”
The transfer of ownership was finalized December 1, 2017. Trélohan notes that given StormAudio had previously been organized as a separate fully functional business unit (HELAP) within Auro Technologies, all aspects of the day-to-day operations are uninterrupted by the transfer of ownership. All existing StormAudio infrastructure, personnel, phone numbers, website, warehousing, remain in place.
“I want to thank Auro Technologies’ top management for all the support they have extended to StormAudio these past 3 years,” says Trélohan. “I find Saffelberg to be a perfect new partner for us. Their proven success with similar business profiles, financial backing and long-term vision is a valuable addition to our very solid team. We are very enthusiastic about the future of StormAudio.”
The StormAudio sales and marketing team consists of:
-Yves Trélohan, Immersive Audio Technologies / StormAudio Managing Director
-Tina Rijkers, StormAudio Marketing Communications Manager (International)
-Sébastien Gailleton, StormAudio Product Marketing Director (International)
-Brad Paulsen, StormAudio Sales Director (North America)
-Paul Muto, Muto Communications, Public Relations (North America)
“In 2014 we made history with the Auriga, the first-ever true 3D audio receiver, built for us by StormAudio,” says Auro Technologies Chairman of the Board Wilfried Van Baelen. “Then in 2015 we acquired the brand and started the Home Entertainment and Luxury Audio Product Division (HELAP).
In a short period of time we succeeded in making the HELAP unit ISO-certified, setting up a high-quality manufacturing process and signing up more than 40 distributors covering 46 main geographical regions around the world. Today, StormAudio has a fresh, innovative line that has been well-accepted in the channel. Its reliability, stability, unique feature sets and performance make it a resounding success.”
Van Baelen furthered, “Concurrently these past several years, Auro Technologies has made great progress developing new Auro-3D licensing clients. During this time the immersive audio hardware category has significantly progressed, and some of our licensees are marketing immersive audio sound processors that could compete with StormAudio, therefore potentially limiting the success of both the Auro and StormAudio brands. Auro Technologies determined the best solution is for the StormAudio HELAP Hardware Division to now stand on its own, granting it the freedom to further capitalize on what it has accomplished. The move frees Auro Technologies to now focus on our long-term vision of becoming a leading powerhouse in innovation and software for connected Immersive and Interactive audio entertainment. We are confident that this mutual decision will be positive for the growth and credibility of both companies,” concluded Van Baelen.
Product Line Overview
Designed and manufactured in France under the guidance of Trélohan, the StormAudio hardware line consists of 5 preamp / processors (from 16- to 32-channels), 3 power amplifiers (8- to 16-channels) and a 16-channel processor/amp (AVR). The products serve the upper end of the custom residential home theater category. The processors all feature built-in compatibility with Auro-3D®, Dolby Atmos® and DTS:X™ and integrate category-leading solutions including Dirac Live® Room Calibration and StormMonitoring™ remote web-based monitoring tool.
AVS Forum hailed the StormAudio AVR a 2017 Best of CEDIA and 2017 Top Choice. It also earned an ISE 2017 Residential Systems Magazine Best of Show Award. The marquee 32-channel ISP 3D.32 ELITE | Reference Edition preamp/processor earned a Residential Systems Magazine 2016 CEDIA Best of Show Award, a CES 2017 Innovations Award and an ISE 2017 Best of Show Award.
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Sales and Product Inquiries
- Dealer and rep inquiries in N. America: Brad Paulsen, firstname.lastname@example.org, +1.805.934.9409
- Outside the Americas and Pacific region, dealers and distributors should contact:
o Yves Trelohan: email@example.com for America, Outside Northern Americas
o Julia Olivier: firstname.lastname@example.org for EUROPE, AFRICA, INDIA and MIDDLE EAST
o Tracy Tsang: email@example.com for ASIA and PACIFIC
StormAudio Media Contacts
- N. America: Paul Muto, Muto Communications: +1.631.849.4301 or firstname.lastname@example.org
- International: Tina Rijkers, MarCom Manager: email@example.com
About Auro Technologies:
Auro Technologies is a spin-off of the privately-owned Galaxy Studios Group, renowned worldwide for its state-of-the-art leadership in audio innovation for music and sound for film. After 150 years of evolution in sound recording and reproduction, Wilfried Van Baelen (Chairman of the Board, Auro Technologies and CEO Galaxy Studios) revolutionized sound by bringing “Immersive Sound” (Sound in 3D) as an end-to-end solution for all markets with his Auro-3D® format. The addition of the missing and final dimension in sound (Height) combined with Auro-3D’s ground-breaking technologies provides a natural immersive sound experience unlike anything you’ve heard before, creating a new emotional level of entertainment in music, movies, games, events, etc. The Auro-3D® Technology Suite offers easy-to-use and unprecedented levels of sound reproduction capabilities to the broadcast, digital cinema, mobile, gaming and automotive markets. auro-technologies.com
StormAudio delivers superior audio electronics that support all existing and future leading sound formats, such as Auro-3D®, Dolby Atmos® and DTS:X™. Designed for the most demanding customers, the products offer “best-in-class” performance, versatility, extreme reliability and the most advanced market features. The brand’s products are available through a specialized distributor network worldwide, with a focus on customer services and technical support. The StormAudio line is designed and manufactured in France, under the leadership of Yves Trélohan, Managing Director, Shareholder and Board Member of parent company Immersive Audio Technologies Group. stormaudio.com
About Yves Trélohan:
Yves Trélohan is Managing Director and Board Member of StormAudio / Immersive Audio Technologies. He has extensive experience in high-end CEDIA channel AV business as Senior Vice President of StormAudio inside Auro Technologies and as Founder and President of Screen Research – the eminent projection screen manufacturer, as well as Digital Media Solutions Residential. Before that he held Senior VP responsibilities for large EAME Divisions in IT for companies such as Unisys and Hitachi Data Systems. He holds an MBA from the ESSEC business school in France and a degree in Electronic Engineering.
About Saffelberg Investments:
Based in Brussels, Saffelberg Investments is an independent investment company focusing on long term investments. Active across the globe, Saffelberg Investments aims to accelerate company growth, create value and provide better returns to entrepreneurs, investors and all stakeholders. Saffelberg has invested in 25 portfolio companies, with a combined turnover of 1 billion EUR, employing close to 3,000 staff. www.saffelberg.com