Avid Buys Digital Audio Company M-Audio

| Reports

Avid Technology announced the acquisition of M-Audio over the weekend. Avid is paying US$80 million in cash, 2 million shares stock (valued at approximately $83 million), the assumption of some 350,000 options at M-Audio, and between $20 million and $25 million in earnouts based on financial milestones.

M-Audio will be run as a separate business unit within the Digidesign unit of Avid, and M-Audio founder and CEO Tim Ryan will continue to run his company as general manager of the unit.

Digidesign and M-Audiois product lines are mostly complimentary with Digidesignis power base being the professional and studio-level digital recording market. M-Audiois products are generally aimed at home recording studios and digital recording prosumers.

M-Audio was among the first companies to embrace Appleis GarageBand, and two of its products, the USB MIDI controller Keystation 49e ($99 at the Apple Store) and the FireWire interface FireWire 410 ($499 at the Apple Store), were featured by Steve Jobs during the GarageBand introduction at Macworld San Francisco.

"The entry-level audio market offers attractive growth opportunities, and both Digidesign and M-Audio have demonstrated solid successes in this area," said Digidesign general manager and Avid vice president Dave Lebolt in a statement. "As a combined entity, Digidesign and M-Audio can tap into subsegments of this market that we would not otherwise reach as strongly on our own."

M-Audio has some 200 employees, and is expected to contribute $20 million to Avidis top line for the rest of 2004. Avid offered guidance that its revenue for 2005 will top US$700 million.

Avidis main product line of digital video editing products competes directly with Appleis own line of digital video products. While facing increasing competition from Apple in that market, Avid remains the leader in the professional digital video editing space.

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