SnapAV is adding another chapter to its growth story since launching in 2006 with the acquisition of residential and commercial outdoor TV manufacturer SunBriteTV. Terms were not disclosed. The Charlotte-based manufacturer, known for its breadth of products and award-winning website, service and support, closed the deal on Monday, October 19.
“Our dealers are doing more and more outdoor systems, and we want to help them grow revenue in those areas,” says SnapAV’s CEO John Heyman. SunBriteTV’s lineup will complement SnapAV’s Episode outdoor audio products to provide dealers with a full solution for outdoor living.
Unlike banker-led financial “roll-ups” that have been common in the custom A/V industry, SnapAV characterizes this transaction similarly to how they’ve entered a number of new product categories. Heyman indicates that in his conversations with dealers, outdoor spaces are discussed as an area of growth and future opportunity.
He adds, “This acquisition represents a commitment that we’re making to the outdoors. While it’s our first major acquisition, it’s really just business as usual in terms of listening to our dealers and taking action based on what they tell us.”
SnapAV plans to sell SunBriteTV products directly to dealers rather than through the residential AV distribution channels that SunBriteTV has used in the past.
[CLARIFICATION: Subsequent to SnapAV’s initial announcement, which included references to shifting to a manufacturer-direct model and away from use of distributors, SunBriteTV issued a clarification for commercial partners indicating there will be “no changes for our current commercial distribution partners or end users” and that “all pricing and programs, ordering, shipping, warranty, and customer service will remain the same as before the acquisition.”]
SunBriteTV’s Cameron Hill comments, “When dealers purchase SunBriteTV products at SnapAV, they will be direct with the manufacturer, and their pricing will reflect that. SnapAV’s business model delivers value and service at significantly lower costs, and, as with all SnapAV products, dealers will begin benefitting from that right away.”
SunBriteTV products will become available through SnapAV before the end of the year. The company indicates that dealers will see lower prices and free shipping when buying directly from SnapAV, rather than through distribution.
Brantley Waites of Elite Audio in Columbia, S.C., adds a dealer’s perspective, “I know that my opportunities to sell more outdoor systems have been growing. Now that SnapAV owns the best outdoor TV Company in the industry, I’m going to get the products and support I need to make the most of those opportunities.”
Below is the memo that SnapAV CEO John Heyman sent to employees and dealers:
Exciting news for all Snappers! We have just completed our first acquisition— SunBriteTV is now part of SnapAV!
Why did we acquire SunBriteTV? It’s actually pretty simple. Outdoor living is one of the most significant trends in the industry. We have seen that help our business with the introduction of Episode landscape speakers a few years ago. As we think about the future, we want to be a leader in certain growth areas and outdoor living is one of them. SunBriteTV is the unquestioned leader in this space and will become the cornerstone of our outdoor solutions. Over time, we envision a complete line of outdoor products—speakers, wireless access points, mounts and televisions.
Headquartered in southern California, SunBriteTV has grown quite a bit over the years, just like SnapAV. Today, it is a profitable, fast growing company with about 60 employees. They manufacture their products in their Los Angeles facility.
In addition to their dominant position in residential, they also have a footprint in commercial settings including outdoor bars and restaurants, stadiums and amusement venues. Even quick service restaurant chains are exploring their use for outdoor signage. They have a range of products that you can check out at their web site sunbritetv.com. They just showed their new 84″ 4k product at CEDIA—it was awesome!
In terms of the future, we have two significant initiatives in the business. One, we will be removing their product from traditional distribution. It is a layer that only creates more costs for our dealers. So, we will only sell it to custom AV dealers directly—and because of the efficiency of our business model, we will sell it to these dealers at a lower price than they can buy through distribution today.
Our second initiative comes from extensive research with dealers about the outdoor television market. While SunBriteTV is the dominant “built for the outdoors” television, far more “indoor” televisions are installed in covered outdoor spaces due to price. This creates a sub-optimal viewing experience with glare, safety concerns, and reliability issues. It’s also a missed opportunity for our dealers to deliver a superior experience to their customers. Dealers need a less expensive, true outdoor TV option for covered outdoor spaces.
Our team will be working with the SunBriteTV team to “snapify” an offering that creates a much lower price point for consumers and helps dealers grow this category and make more money doing it.
Please extend a warm welcome to the SunBriteTV family. I am excited about what we can all do together.