"You’re not going to hear about a weirder deal today," declares TechCrunch after a decades-old British speaker company was bought by a tiny Silicon Valley startup this week. Founded in 1966, Bowers & Wilkins boasts pages of audio products for sale. Founded in 2014, EVA Automation has no products to speak of. EVA solved that problem by buying Bowers & Wilkins. The financial terms of the deal haven't been revealed, but Engadget estimates it at approximately $175 million. Bloomberg reports the move was unusual as typically the more established company buys the new, exciting one.
EVA Automation's stated goal is to "change how people interact and think about the home." Meanwhile, Bowers & Wilkins has lagged behind in pushing new technology, such as cloud services, in its products. As part of the deal, EVA Automation will take on the Bowers & Wilkins name, keep Bowers & Wilkins' CEO, and continue to employ the speaker company's 1,100 workers (EVA Automation employs 40). EVA Automation founder Gideon Yu says he wants to start selling new speaker products next year. “This is the way that Silicon Valley and other industrial companies raise the game for consumer-brand electronics," Bloomberg quotes Yu as saying. (A "tight-lipped" startup is taking over Palo Alto.)