Intrepid announced today that it served as the exclusive financial advisor to JLab Audio (JLab), a leading personal audio brand, on its sale to Japan-based Noritsu Koki Co., Ltd. (TSE: 7744) (Noritsu Koki) for $370 million (USD).
Founded in 2005 and based in Carlsbad, Calif., JLab is the No. 1 seller of headphones under $50, the No. 1 seller of true wireless earbuds under $100 as well as the No. 1 kids’ headphone brand in the U.S., according to NPD. Driven by its relentless focus on innovation, visionary leadership, and unique, accessible brand positioning, the company has experienced rapid growth over the past several years, gaining broad retail distribution in over 20,000 doors for its extensive product portfolio.
“We performed an exhaustive search and interviewed multiple banks. After we met with Intrepid, we knew they fit our culture and would work alongside us to find the right partner,” said Win Cramer, CEO of JLab. “They listened to what was important for both the Board of Directors and management and took everyone’s thoughts and needs into consideration as they helped us navigate the process. Gary and team are pros and we’re thrilled with the outcome for all involved—most importantly identifying Noritsu Koki as our long-term ownership group.”
“Every complex transaction needs an array of banking, research, and transaction resources. But it’s the ‘X factor’ that really stands out at Intrepid—that innate ability to anticipate and navigate the vagaries of a deal and artfully manage what is inevitably a diverse group of investors, management, and vendors on both sides of the transaction. I can’t say enough about how great a banker Gary Rabishaw is and how well he leads his deal team. Excellence throughout, from start to finish,” added Kevyn DeMartino, Managing Partner of Catalyst Holdings and Chairman of JLab.
“We could not be more pleased to announce another successful cross-border strategic transaction for our practice, particularly for an exciting brand like JLab,” said Gary Rabishaw, Managing Director and Head of the Commercial & Consumer Technology practice at Intrepid. “We have been building our international network for nearly two decades, specifically to deliver superior results and options for our clients. We congratulate the teams at JLab, Catalyst Holdings, Eagle Private Capital, and Petra Capital Partners for building a truly differentiated leader in the highly competitive personal audio space. We see tremendous opportunities and synergy between these two companies and are excited to see JLab leverage NKC’s international platform to drive its next stage of growth.”
Based in Tokyo, Japan, NKC is a diversified holding company whose subsidiaries engage in manufacturing and healthcare activities. In April 2020, Noritsu Koki completed the acquisition of AlphaTheta, which offers professional DJ equipment under several brands, most notable Pioneer DJ. SXA (Oaklins Japan) served as the financial advisor to Noritsu Koki on the acquisitions of both JLab and AlphaTheta.