Bosch to acquire Telex

$420m deal will add communications, life-safety, audio and wireless lines to security division
Tuesday, August 1, 2006

FAIRPORT, N.Y.--The Bosch Group announced in late June plans to acquire Minneapolis-based Telex Communications for an aggregate purchase price of $420 million, including assumption of debt. Telex, a manufacturer and supplier of professional audio, wireless, life safety and communications equipment, will be assigned to the Bosch Security Systems division, which last year generated sales of approximately $1.25 billion.
Telex, home to brands such as ElectroVoice, Dynacord, Midas, Klark Teknik, Telex, and RTS, posted $308 million in sales last year and employs more than 2,000 people in nine countries.
"They have a very complementary suite of products for our communications portfolio," said Bosch Security president Shamus Hurley. "This makes us a very solid powerhouse from a customer's perspective in the sense that it really gives us a very well rounded portfolio in the voice evacuation, congressing, public address, and now professional sound arenas. Any customer that's playing in those fields, this will give them a strategic advantage."
John Bartle, chief executive officer at Barcom, a Bosch dealer based in Swansea, Mo., said Telex's audio products "should fit into our particular strategies in the marketplace." Started in 1972, and employing 54, Barcom has traditionally done audio work and became a Bosch dealer roughly five or six years ago, said Bartle.
"There's been a lot of play in the marketplace today," said Bartle, who's seen a lot of it in his time, "but the biggest thing is that when a big company buys another company, it has to be an effort from all sides to focus on customer needs and the most cost-effective way to fill those customer needs. They need to understand that it's still at the dealer level, and the dealers can use all the help they can get. Everybody's in a real rush to sell product, the ones who will rise to the top will recognize that the overall service is what sells."
Hurley agreed: "Every dealer customer/integrator we see out there, they're looking to do more with less, and there's an expectation of integration in any major product suite." The Telex acquisition will allow Bosch to offer a wider variety of products that all work together. Further, it will provide some geographic benefits.
"We're very weak in Japan in this business, they're very strong," said Hurley. "We'll take advantage of that. In the United States, where we had absolutely no presence in sound, communications, and life-safety, and had no expectation of a presence, we get instant access to a customer channel ... This is a big win for us."