Audio Research Acquired by Quadrivio

Audio Research, one of the companies that created the Silver Age of American high-end audio 38 years ago, was acquired by Italian private equity firm Quadrivio SGR on January 25. Quadrivio, which acquired Sonus Faber in 2007, intends to keep Audio Research's current management team in place.

Audio Research founder and President William Z. Johnson will continue with the firm as honorary chairman, but will step aside from day-to-day operations. Terry Dorn will be President, Gerald Oxborough will become CFO, Ralph Fetter will continue as managing director of manufacturing, David Gordon will serve as managing drector of sales, and Ward Fiebiger will be managing director of engineering, as well as supervisor of product design.

"This is a fabulous fit for us," said Dave Gordon. "Quadrivio has proven with Sonus Faber that they get what high-end audio is all about—and they get Audio Research. They wanted us because of what we do, so they want us to continue doing it. The only changes you're going to see are new products as we introduce them."

One of the worst-kept secrets in high-end audio over the last few years was that Audio Research might be on the block, "to the right owner and for the right price," which many industry insiders interpreted as "William Z. Johnson kinda does and kinda doesn't want to do it." Coming off of the two best years in the company's history, it was obviously the right time—and Quadrivio, by all reports, seems to be the right buyer.

Along similar lines, TC Group, the Danish parent company of UK speaker manufacturer Tannoy Group, and Gibson Guitar announced a merger on January 18. "This merger will revolutionize the music industry for many years to come," said Henry Juszkiewicz, Chairman and CEO of Gibson. The merged company will be known as Gibson Guitar Corp and will remain based in Risskov, Denmark. Anders Fauerskov will be Chief Operating Officer. The deal should be finalized by the end of February 2008.