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Sunday, December 22, 2013

Yamaha To Acquire Line 6

Line 6 logo image from Bobby Owsinski's Big Picture production blog
In a move that surprised many in the industry, the MI market was shaken up on Friday when it was announced that Yamaha has agreed to acquire guitar and amp company Line 6. Few details of the agreement have been revealed except that Line 6 will be operated as a wholly owned subsidiary, and that management team will remain in place and the brand will continue.

While acquisitions like this sometimes mean that the company being bought was in trouble financially, that's not the case here, as both sides are quite pleased with the strategic nature of the situation. Line 6's investors were able to cash out and the company will be able to gain some much needed marketing clout and expertise from Yamaha, while Yamaha gains some great proprietary technology and expertise that they need as well.

My take is that while it's tough to see another large MI company absorbed by an even larger one, this is the nature of the business and something to be expected. In all industries you have the mega, the medium and the boutique. The mega's tend to acquire the medium companies, which opens up room for the boutiques to grow. If you're a small company in the MI business, you have Ghandi's words to follow:

"First they ignore you,
Then they laugh at you,
Then they fight you,
Then you win."

In business, winning can mean a lot of things, from growing to becoming a mega corporation, to going public, to growing just big enough to keep the founder happy, or to selling out to a larger company. In the case of Line 6, it's the latter, so congrats to the executive team at the company, and here's to keeping the brand alive.

Just another reason why NAMM should be all the more interesting this year.

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1 comment:

Jef Knight said...

Nice one. I've always liked the line-6 stuff. Have both of the original gtr/bass pods and a rack mount pod pro. Very useful for certain sounds.

Now that Yammy owns them I expect to see a line-6 plugin coming bundled with Cubase.


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