Focal and Naim Audio have announced a merger to create what is expected to be a stronger pan-European hi-fi company. The new company - Focal & Co - will own and manage the two brands as independent entities, with their own distinctive ethos and product lines, but the two will collaberate in research and development. Spokespeople from both brands were keen to stress that it's "business as usual" for Naim and Focal.
"For future success the key point is that there is no future for a speaker or electronic company alone." Said Jacques Mahul, Focal & Co Founder and Chairman. "Partnership and collaboration are the way forward both in terms of investment and R&D. Working together means you can go more quickly and successfully while remaining true to the respective brands."
Paul Stephenson, Managing Director of Naim Audio and now board member of Focal & Co feels "It is a merger of European minds. In Focal, we have found a partner that shares our passion for music and will help us take Naim to the next level. We can achieve far more together than would have been possible alone, yet at the same time we are able to retain everything that is unique about Naim and everything our customers love us for. We have some incredible developments in the pipeline and this alliance will help get those to market as quickly as possible."
The new company - Focal & Co - employs 325 people in its facilities at St. Etienne, France and Salisbury, UK. The two brands have a combined turnover of around $80m.
The merger follows on the heels of Naim Audio's latest product launch, the SuperUniti. An all-in-one unit combining the strengths of its SuperNait integrated amplifier, the UnitiQute multi-source all-in-one device and the Naim DAC, the 80W per channel device is designed for those who like the idea of a one-box device but would like something 'just that little bit louder' than existing Uniti and UnitiQute devices. Priced at £3250, the SuperUniti is expected to ship to UK retailers in October, price and availability in North America is still to be confirmed. Naim Audio has also annouced its latest software upgrade for HDX, NDX, NaimNet and Uniti devices will include internet radio access and automatic backup to NAS drives, as well as minor bug fixes. Version 1.6 software should be available from the end of this month, either as a retailer upgrade or a user CD install.