Line 6 Now Under Yamaha

Music gear giant Yamaha announces acquisition of popular amp and effects modeling manufacturer Line 6.

Line 6 Acquired by Yamaha

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This is big news for the guitar community because it expands Yamaha's guitar processing products and pro-audio equipment and it lends Yamaha's global presence and years of experience to Line 6. This is expected to result in faster expansion for both companies.

Being one of the pioneers of digital amp modeling, Line 6 continues to be a major player in this field, and has since expanded into guitar effects modeling, wireless systems and even professional audio equipment like mixers and speakers.

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This new agreement will still see Line 6 operate as before with its current management team, only this time Yamaha will be overseeing their operations and they will be lending their deep pockets and global reach to the Line 6 brand.

Mr. Takuya Nakata, President of Yamaha Corporation, said: "I am very happy that Line 6, which has been creating innovative products and creating new market opportunities consistently over its history, will become a member of the Yamaha group. We look forward to accelerating our growth strategy by pursuing the beneficial effects from both companies and by utilizing Line 6’s core brand power centered on guitarists that is so highly regarded worldwide as well as its unique technology, planning and development capabilities."

Line 6 provided a summary of the Outline of Agreement and it goes:

  1. Based on the resolutions adopted by the Line 6 board of directors on December 19 and the Yamaha board of directors on December 20, a definitive agreement has been executed regarding the acquisition of all of the capital stock of Line 6.

  2. Yamaha will acquire all of the capital stock of Line 6 owned by the founders, venture funds and employees.

  3. The transaction is expected to be completed during January 2014 after receipt of customary regulatory approvals.

Thinking aloud, I can imagine seeing more affordable versions of Line 6 products in the future, like a student version of the Variax. This would be possible because Yamaha is known for providing quality products at lower price points. Affordable hybrid tube and digital amps would also be something to watch out for, along with effects.

Line 6 co-founder and Chief Strategy Officer Marcus Ryle had this to say "For over 30 years of developing products, and even further back to my earliest memories as a developing musician, Yamaha has been the brand for which I have always had the most respect. Yamaha has consistently set the standard in our industry for quality and innovation, and I am very proud for Line 6 to now be a part of this incredible legacy."

Line 6 CEO and President Paul Foeckler commented: "Yamaha’s acquisition of Line 6 will help accelerate the realization of our vision to drive innovation for musicians across the globe. We’re proud that Yamaha recognizes the innovation and value in our people, IP and processes and we’re excited about the opportunities ahead to expand our reach."

It will be interesting how Yamaha and Line 6 who have some products that compete for the same market will make adjustments. Based on how Steinberg continues to operate as they were after being acquired by Yamaha, Line 6 fans may not have to worry much. It looks like we will be seeing more of these mergers as it is part of Yamaha's three-year medium-term management plan called “Yamaha Management Plan 2016.”

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