Tokyo The homepage of the Japanese hi-fi manufacturer Onkyo Home Entertainment is cheerfully designed, after all, it should encourage you to shop. But since Monday, the website has been dominated by an unpleasant entry. A court in Osaka accepted the company’s bankruptcy petition on Friday, the company said: “This website is operated by the insolvency administrator of Onkyo Home Entertainment Co., Ltd.“
Onkyo is in bankruptcy due to 23 million euros of debt
With the bankruptcy, one of the last self-managed Japanese world brands of the hi-Fi age is at least saying goodbye to its independence. For a long time, Onkyo had tried to keep up with the digitization of music enjoyment. But the core business of the Japanese, compact stereos, shrank with the triumph of streaming services such as Spotify and the associated migration to smartphones and smart speakers, Internet-connected speakers from IT giants such as Alphabet and Amazon.
Onkyo sold to Voxx and Sharp before bankruptcy
At the beginning of 2021, this savior even seemed to have been found: Onkyo wanted to raise fresh capital through stock options in the amount of 6.2 billion yen (about 46 million euros) for a private equity fund from the Cayman Islands. However, investors have only a few options.
In August 2021, the company was duly withdrawn from the stock exchange due to the fact that its net value was negative for the second year in a row. In September, Onkyo sold its domestic audiovisual equipment division for $30.8 million to a joint venture between US company Voxx International and Japanese electronics group Sharp, which is part of Taiwanese contract manufacturer Foxconn.
Sharp and Voxx want to continue the Onkyo brand
The headphone business was also sold. The company was still trying to service the debt through other businesses and licensing revenue from the divisions it sold. But it’s not enough, the company said. Despite the efforts, Onkyo was “unable to pay its debts in view of the serious cash flow difficulties”.
The Handelsblatt editorial team recommends
It’s the last act of a long goodbye. In February, the marketing subsidiary and contract manufacturing already stopped work and filed for bankruptcy in March. What the demise of the company means for the brand is not yet completely clear. Voxx International and Sharp definitely want to continue the brand.
Sharp’s joint venture partner is Premium Audio Company, a unit founded by Voxx International in 2020. The company is now like a global who’s who of failed hi-Fi brands. So the Americans added the deal with Onkyo – and Onkyo’s brands Pioneer and Integra – to the long list of other names, such as Klipsch (USA), Jamo (Denmark) and Teac (Japan).
The shell company has taken over the distribution of Onkyo products, which Sharp produces in its Malaysian factory. The last word is given to the bankruptcy trustee.