Japanese audio manufacturer Onkyo is officially insolvent. What will happen to the popular brand now?
The taditional company Onkyo is primarily known for its high-quality stereo systems. Founded in 1946, the Japanese manufacturer also sold record players and loudspeakers for a long time. Alongside well-known names like Panasonic, Samsung and Sony, Onkyo is therefore considered one of the largest manufacturers of audio electronics. This obviously didn’t help much in view of the current developments: On Friday, May 1, 2022, Onkyo had to file for insolvency.
Onkyo insolvency was foreseeable
Not only during the Corona crisis did Onkyo suffer considerably. For years, the Japanese company has been struggling with developments in the audio market. While stereo systems used to be considered the ultimate, users nowadays consume music, audio plays and the like differently. Portable devices – first and foremost, of course, the smartphone – are now far more popular.
Accordingly, money problems have existed for some time, and Onkyo lost its stock market listing as early as August of last year. Although attempts were made to maintain the business on a smaller scale, this apparently did not pay off sufficiently, so that Onkyo had to file for insolvency with the court in Osaka. The company has now accumulated debts of over 23 million US dollars.
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What’s next for Onkyo?
“We tried all possible ways (to keep the business going), but in the end could not pay our debts,” a statement from the company told Nikkei Asia magazine. As recently as January 2021, shareholders had agreed to create new equity through stock options, but no one wanted to buy into the company, which was in serious need of restructuring.
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In the meantime, the core audiovisual equipment business has been sold to Sharp and Voxx International in the US. The headphone business, on the other hand, went to an investment fund. Nevertheless, Sharp and Voxx want to keep the brand as a joint venture. With this, Onkyo joins other failed companies, especially under Voxx, which also bought up brands like Teac in the past. Sharp intends to maintain production in the future, while Voxx International will handle marketing.
- Nikkei Asia