What’s this? inWho? You remember when I used to joke about Numakailesis? That’s who inMusic is now – a new umbrella company for the Numark, Akai, Alesis, ION, Alto, MixMeister and Sonivox. And now they’ve stepped up to Avid and bought the M-Audio brand, as well as the AIR software group that makes instruments and plugins for Pro Tools.

But it would appear that Avid are having to offload bits of the business, and at the same time ditch 20% of their global workforce. Not good news for some people then

Here’s the PR, got off the brand new inMusic press:

Jack O’Donnell announces the acquisition of AIR Software Group and M-Audio from Avid

inMusic, newly formed parent company of Akai Professional, Alesis, Alto Professional, ION Audio, Numark, and Sonivox, bolsters its commitment to music production and performance with the addition of two world-class brands.

Cumberland, R.I. (July 2, 2012) – Today, inMusic announced the acquisition of two product lines from Avid. inMusic will add the AIR Software Group, a cutting-edge audio software and technology development team, and M-Audio, the world’s largest manufacturer of keyboard controllers and a category leader in studio monitors and computer recording tools for musicians.

Through these deals, the AIR Software Group and M-Audio will join a family of premier brands that includes Akai Professional, Alesis, Alto Professional, ION Audio, Numark, plus another recent addition, Sonivox, a developer of innovative virtual instruments, acquired earlier this year.

Based in Germany, the AIR Software Group started as Wizoo Sound Design, one of the earliest pioneers in virtual instrument technology, and was acquired by Avid in 2005. The AIR team develops a number of specialized effects plug-ins for Avid’s Pro Tools software, the de facto standard for professional audio production across the music, film, and television industries. The AIR team has also developed a suite of award-winning virtual instruments specifically for Pro Tools. The group has a number of groundbreaking new products in development, many of which will be showcased and released in the latter half of 2012.

Previously a part of Avid, M-Audio is a leading provider of digital audio and MIDI solutions for electronic musicians and audio professionals. Since 1988, M-Audio has continually provided musicians with innovative and creative products. From their acclaimed MIDI and audio interfaces to their wildly popular keyboard controllers, M- Audio’s products have become studio and stage mainstays, giving musicians broad access to the latest in music creation and performance technology.

“By acquiring the AIR Software Group and M-Audio, we’re not only broadening but also deepening our commitment to the future of music creation and production,” said Jack O’Donnell, owner and CEO, inMusic. “All of our brands are technology leaders, and they all have tremendous market momentum. With the addition of AIR and M-Audio, we’re in an even better position to push the boundaries of computer-based composition, production, and performance. Naturally this will be very positive for musicians, who will get better software, better hardware, and a much more integrated music-making experience as a result.”

The acquisitions also signal a new relationship with Avid. The AIR Software Group will continue to develop and maintain technologies for the Avid Pro Tools family of digital audio workstations, and a number of M-Audio products will continue to include Pro Tools software. Select Akai Professional and Alesis products will also now include Pro Tools, bringing the leading professional production software to a whole new audience of musicians, producers, and engineers.

M-Audio and the AIR Software Group will dovetail with Akai Professional, Alesis, and Numark in many key areas, including product development, engineering, and distribution. This synergy will bolster the product offerings and technological leadership of all five brands, giving musicians an array of instruments unprecedented in both capability and value. M-Audio and the AIR Software Group will join the other brands at the Summer NAMM Show in July and will debut a number of innovative new products at the show.

About AIR Software Group
Based in Germany, the AIR Software Group started as Wizoo Sound Design, one of the earliest pioneers in virtual instrument technology, and was acquired by Avid Technology in 2005. The AIR team is responsible for the core of much of the effects offerings in Avid’s Pro Tools software, the de facto standard for professional music production across the music, film, and television industries. The AIR team has also developed a suite of award-winning virtual instruments specifically for Pro Tools. The group has a number of groundbreaking new products in development, many of which will be showcased and released in the latter half of 2012.

About M-AUDIO
Previously a part of Avid Technology, is a leading provider of digital audio and MIDI solutions for electronic musicians and audio professionals. Since 1988, M-Audio has continually provided musicians with innovative and creative products. From their acclaimed MIDI and audio interfaces to their wildly popular keyboard controllers, M-Audio’s products have become studio and stage mainstays, giving musicians broad access to the latest in music creation and performance
technology.

About inMusic
inMusic is the new parent company for a family of premier brands that includes AIR Software Group, Akai Professional, Alesis, Alto Professional, ION Audio, M-Audio, MixMeister, Numark, and Sonivox. Committed to pushing the boundaries and challenging the status quo, each of inMusic’s brands is a leader in its industry, providing cutting-edge products that both incorporate and build upon the latest in engineering, design, and technology. www.inmusicbrands.com

Yay go inMusic. But this is Avid’s somewhat less positive side of the story:

Avid Divests Consumer Businesses and Streamlines Operations

BURLINGTON, MA, 2012-07-02

Today Avid® (NASDAQ: AVID) initiated a series of strategic actions to focus the company on its Media Enterprise and Post & Professional customers and to drive improved operating performance. As part of these actions, the company is divesting its consumer businesses. With these changes, Avid will concentrate on core markets where its deep domain expertise, track record of technical innovation, and strong brand offer the greatest opportunity for success.

“The changes we are announcing today make Avid a more focused and agile company,” said Gary Greenfield, CEO of Avid. “By streamlining and simplifying operations, we expect to deliver improved financial performance and partner more closely with our enterprise and professional customers. Our objective remains to provide these customers with the innovative solutions that allow them to create the most listened to, most watched and most loved media in the world. I’m excited about our future prospects.”

Avid has agreed to sell its consumer audio and video product lines. The company’s consumer audio products are being sold to inMusic, the parent company of Akai Professional, Alesis and Numark, among others. Headquartered in Cumberland, Rhode Island, inMusic’s brands are best known for producing innovative products for music production, performance and DJing. The products involved in this transaction include M-Audio brand keyboards, controllers, interfaces, speakers and digital DJ equipment and other product lines. Avid will continue to develop and sell its industry-leading Pro Tools® line of software and hardware, as well as associated I/O devices including Mbox and Fast Track.

Separately, the company’s consumer video editing line is being sold to Corel Corporation, a consumer software company headquartered in Ottawa, Canada. The products involved in this transaction include Avid Studio, Pinnacle Studio, and the Avid Studio App for the Apple iPad®, as well as other legacy video capture products.

The divested product lines contributed approximately $91 million of Avid’s 2011 revenue of $677 million. As part of the transactions, certain employees of Avid will transfer to each acquiring company. Avid estimates that the proceeds from these transactions will be approximately $17 million, subject to closing inventory adjustment, with a portion held in escrow.  Both transactions are expected to close today, July 2, 2012.

Avid also plans to reduce the number of its employees as it streamlines operations, with approximately 20% of its permanent employee base impacted by the divestitures and headcount reduction plans.  The company currently expects to incur a restructuring charge of approximately $19 to $23 million related to these actions and other associated measures.

The company’s cash balance on March 31, 2012 was $49.7 million. The proceeds from the sale of these product lines should offset most of the restructuring charges paid in 2012.

Ouch – 20% layoffs. That’s quite harsh.

So another week, and another announcement of a company or brand getting snapped up. And it would be remiss of me not to mention that said snapping up is being done by either The Music Group aka Behringer, or inMusic, formerly Numark. Looks like Uli Behringer and Jack O’Donnell are flexing their business muscles a little right now, even if it is in slightly different business areas.

What this means for existing M-Audio products is unclear. Despite our happiness with Torq 2, it has failed to make even a tiny dent in the market, and I suspect that those X MIDI controllers will almost certainly be sent to that MIDI museum in the sky as well. But when you look at the M-Audio range and compare it to Akai and Alesis, there’s a lot of crossover. It’ll be interesting to see where the rationalisation is, and if Torq continues to be developed in-house. Numark tried their own rebranded version of VDJ called Cue for a while. Perhaps this is the opportunity they’ve been waiting for.

I’ll try and get a better picture over the coming days.