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SK Telecom buys iRiver (=Astell&Kern).... Possible end of A&K?

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 

Yes, it's been really obvious for a while, but it seems the deal has been finalized.

 

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/yonhap-news-agency/140625/sk-telecom-acquire-iriver-295-bln-won

 

 

 

 

I am not even sure what will happen to A&K. Maybe it will be status quo, or SKT may force iRiver to make cheaper A&K model, or just terminate the brand altogether and absorb HR.

 

 

I must remind you guys that SKT Telecom, like many other telecommunication companies around the world, think only about smartphone smartphone smartphone. Or app app app app. Or accessories accessories accessories.

 

They don't really care about audiophile market much.

post #2 of 7

I`m not sure 39.57% of the stock qualifies as `buying` the company.  But thanks anyway for the link : very interesting . 

post #3 of 7

My perception is that until they launched A&K, iriver was withering on the vine, because the whole MP3/PMP market was going away, and iriver no longer had a viable business. They were in a very dangerous place, but then A&K became enough of a hit and made iriver a viable concern again, and perhaps even made iriver attractive enough for such an acquisition.

 

Just from that, I don't think SK or any major shareholder would want to kill the goose that lays golden eggs. It's good to have for the balance sheet, and the A&K brand is one big halo/hero product whose image will trickle down to whatever SK wants to use iriver for (the obvious thing being an A&K branded hi-res audio app).


Edited by heatofamatch - 6/25/14 at 6:23pm
post #4 of 7

Well, I'm not an expert or anything in the Korea corporate world but I'm pretty sure SK is a huge conglomerate who owns everything from telecom to chemicals, gas, energy, networks, shipping, semiconductors, security, etc... These mega korean conglomerate like Samsung/Hyundai is way more than their cellphone/cars that we in America is familiar with.  As I understand even the SK Telecom has their own little kingdom of businesses within them that include things like property development... they really have big webs of interconnected businesses that is really more like a big oligopoly than a real market.  

 

Nonetheless, interesting iriver is getting picked up by SK and if anything I'd think they would now have the more financial backing than before as an independent company in a "disrupted"/"dying" mp3/pmp industry and could spend more on their AK division.


Edited by kkcc - 6/30/14 at 6:19am
post #5 of 7
Maybe some audiophile smart phones
post #6 of 7

Speaking of which,

Quote:
Originally Posted by kkcc View Post
 

Well, I'm not an expert or anything in the Korea corporate world but I'm pretty sure SK is a huge conglomerate who owns everything from telecom to chemicals, gas, energy, networks, shipping, semiconductors, security, etc... These mega korean conglomerate like Samsung/Hyundai is way more than their cellphone/cars that we in America is familiar with.  As I understand even the SK Telecom has their own little kingdom of businesses within them that include things like property development... they really have big webs of interconnected businesses that is really more like a big oligopoly than a real market.  

 

Nonetheless, interesting iriver is getting picked up by SK and if anything I'd think they would now have the more financial backing than before as an independent company in a "disrupted"/"dying" mp3/pmp industry and could spend more on their AK division.

 

That's worth looking into -- was iriver really independent all this time? Or was it actually floating vaguely on the periphery of one of the many chaebol universes? (samsung?)... in the same way Subaru was loosely tied to Nissan for most of its pre-GM years but had zero product R&D or procurement interaction with Nissan.

post #7 of 7
Quote:
Originally Posted by heatofamatch View Post
 

Speaking of which,

 

That's worth looking into -- was iriver really independent all this time? Or was it actually floating vaguely on the periphery of one of the many chaebol universes? (samsung?)... in the same way Subaru was loosely tied to Nissan for most of its pre-GM years but had zero product R&D or procurement interaction with Nissan.

 

yup won't surprise me if they were either... I guess nothing is really fully independent in corporate korea!

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