According to a press release on Yahoo Finance, Pioneer Corporation is set to sell its DJ equipment business to Kohlberg Kravis Roberts (KKR) for the whopping price of 59 billion yen, which converts to approximately $551 million. Pioneer and KKR jointly published the press release. KKR plans to acquire the outstanding shares of Pioneer DJ via a holding company, PDJHD. Pioneer will then acquire a small percentage of shares back from KKR through the holding company. After all of the planned transactions are completed, KKR will own 85.05% of Pioneer DJ, and Pioneer will possess 14.95%.
President and CEO of Pioneer Susumu Kotani said, “As we accelerate our efforts to concentrate management resources on our car electronics business, Pioneer has been seeking the optimal partner to further the globalization of our DJ equipment business and expand the brand. We are pleased to have reached an agreement with KKR on the purchase of Pioneer DJ. KKR has a wealth of experience in the technology and media industry globally, and we are confident it has the expertise to drive Pioneer DJ forward. Pioneer will retain 14.95% of the voting rights in Pioneer DJ and we will maintain a framework for cooperation to ensure the future growth of the company.”
CEO of KKR Japan Hirofumi Hirano added: “Pioneer has built a leading global DJ equipment business based on its powerful brands and excellence in matching product development to market requirements. KKR will work together with Pioneer DJ’s innovative management team and employees, and our investment partner Pioneer, to support further long-term growth of the business."
Pioneer introduced the CDJ-500 in 1994, which completely changed DJing as we know it. CDJs allowed DJs to play CDs rather than traveling with clunky crates of records. The polarizing invention made DJing a more accessible profession.