Biamp Systems Acquired by Highlander Partners, Taps Rashid Skaf to Lead

Biamp Systems has been acquired by Highland Partners and former AMX executive Rashid Skaf becomes Biamp president, CEO and co-chairman. 

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Biamp Systems Acquired by Highlander Partners, Taps Rashid Skaf to Lead

Just when you thought the retirement of VP of global sales Ron Camden would be the biggest story out of Biamp Systems in 2017, a new development — Beaverton, Ore.-based Biamp Systems has been acquired by Highland Partners. Meanwhile, former AMX executive Rashid Skaf who joined Highlander last year will become Biamp president, CEO and co-chairman.

“We believe the addition of Rashid to an already strong Biamp team will guide the company to tremendous success,” says Mike Nicolais, vice chairman and CEO of Highlander Partners.

Highlander Partners, a Dallas-based middle market private investment firm, purchases Biamp Systems from Lomar Corporation. Lomar will continue as a minority partner in the transaction, according to a Highlander press release.

Matt Czyzewski, previous president and CEO of Biamp, will remain as executive vice president of technology, according to a Biamp press release.

Biamp, is among the leading and most venerable brands in commercial AV with well-known lines including Tesira, Devio and Nexia.

Highlander Partners describes its principal focus, in the press release, as on making direct and control investments in manufacturing, consumer products, and food and beverage products.

Skaf joined Highlander in September of 2016 as a senior advisor to identify technology company opportunities.

“Highlander has been very successful building value in enterprises by finding well-run, profitable businesses in healthy industries that have the potential for significant future growth through both organic expansion of the existing business and strategic additions of complementary acquisitions,” says Mike Nicolais, vice chairman and CEO of Highlander Partners, in the press release.

“Biamp perfectly matches that profile and we’re delighted to add it to our portfolio.  We believe the addition of Rashid to an already strong Biamp team will guide the company to tremendous success.”

More on Skaf from Biamp’s press release:

Skaf is a well-recognized and respected figure within the professional AV industry. He is best known for his 15 years at the helm of AMX, a pioneer in professional AV and control systems that he grew to become one of the industry’s largest participants and most respected brands. He sold AMX to Harman Industries in 2014 and, after a brief transition period, left to serve as an advisor to various investment groups. He eventually joined one of these firms, Highlander Partners, where he serves as a senior advisor. Highlander Partners is a Dallas-based private equity company with over $1.4 billion under management. Skaf joined Highlander to identify candidate technology companies and Biamp is the first investment borne from that initiative.

Skaf notes that he developed “deep respect” for Biamp’s “products, brand and organisation” while at AMX. “I’m delighted to have the opportunity to join and lead the Biamp team.  I have no doubt that together we will usher Biamp into an exciting new period of growth and industry leadership that will benefit the company, its employees, and channel partners.”

In Biamp’s press release, Skaf goes on to highlight opportunities he sees while at the helm of Biamp:

“Biamp is one of the most successful professional audio management companies in the world. Despite its undeniable leadership position, I see clear opportunities to grow market share of its current products and expand into new markets through an aggressive program of internal development and company acquisition. I will soon reach out to the many excellent suppliers and industry partners Biamp works with today, and those others I worked with in the past, to build a passionate community committed to meeting mutual growth objectives. I consider the excellence of our extended community of partners to be a critical factor in the future success of Biamp.”

According to the Highlander press release, Pagemill Partners, a division of Duff & Phelps, acted as financial advisor to Biamp Systems Corporation in the transaction.  Regions Bank and Fifth Third Bank, as joint lead arrangers, provided senior financing facilities and Norwest Mezzanine Partners provided mezzanine debt and equity in support of the transaction.

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